Dustin Lance Black, who nabbed both an Oscar and a Writers Guild of America Award for penning 2008’s celluloid success Milk, has launched a hefty lawsuit against celebrity gossip site Starzlife.com and individuals Michael Lawrence and Nathan Folks for distribution of those infamous bareback photos back in June.
According to Black the XXX shoot occurred in November 2006 at the hands of Black’s then boyfriend, Jeffrey Delancy. The two were busy twisting up the sheets when Black noticed the camera and demanded Delancy delete the photos; Delancy did. What Delancy failed to mention, however, is that he’d also snagged some video.
Enter Lawrence, who shacked up with Delancy in 2007. Reportedly, Lawrence surreptitiously stole a copy of the video file from Delancy’s computer (and then, having “found” the file, pleaded jealous and forced Delancy to delete the material from his computer — which Delancy did).
It was after Black’s Oscar win that, allegedly, Lawrence teamed up with Folks and under faux business title Scott Allen Entertainment Inc the duo began negotiating the sale of the steamy romp with Starzlife.com.
According to Black’s lawsuit (filed Jul 23) when he and lawyers confronted Lawrence and Folks with damning evidence, the pair pretended to comply — all the while slyly attempting to close the Starzlife.com deal. Starzlife.com is also charged with thwarting legal proceedings in its reported pursuit of sale — allegedly meeting with Black’s private investigators, who went undercover as interested buyers.
Black’s legal team — the notorious Lavely and Singer — is looking to quash any and all dissemination of the XXX video and photo stills and is seeking a whopping $3 million from Starzlife.com.
Critics are certain that Black will get a strapping settlement. After all Lavely and Singer is known for its “bulldog” tactics and has waged and won wars for the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Aniston, Vince Vaughn, Celine Dion, Roseanne and Jim Carrey.
While the legal battle rages, Black — whose film Pedro (the biopic of AIDS activist Pedro Zamora) screened at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival — has again hunkered down with director Gus Van Sant to work out the film adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (rumoured to star Jack Black and Woody Harrelson). As well, Black — who’s an ex-Mormon — continues to write for HBO’s Big Love and is gearing up to work with celebrated gay director Paris Barclay on feature film A Life Like Mine. As if that wasn’t enough Black is also tackling his directorial debut, What’s Wrong With Virginia?, a flick he wrote that stars Jennifer Connelly and Liam Neeson.
Bisexual singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, who made major waves in 1995 with her hit “I Kissed a Girl,” hasn’t had much to say about Katy Perry’s copping and claiming. In fact Sobule’s response to Perry’s 2008 track was diplomatic. “I don’t feel precious about the title, but I’ve gotten tons of emails from annoyed fans…. I will admit that I do smile when a critique mentions my version in a more favourable light. Is that wrong?”
In a recent interview with online magazine The Rumpus, however, Sobule let the fists fly. “It did bug me a little bit, however, when [Perry] said she came up with the idea for the title in a dream. In truth, she wrote it with a team of professional writers and was signed by the very same guy that signed me in 1995. I have not mentioned that in interviews as I don’t want to sound bitter or petty… ’cause that’s not me.
“Okay, maybe, if I really think about it, there were a few jealous and pissed off moments. So here goes, for the first time in an interview: Fuck you, Katy Perry, you fucking stupid, maybe ‘not good for the gays,’ title thieving, haven’t heard much else, so not quite sure if you’re talented, fucking little slut.
“God that felt good.”
Sobule, who’s known for her politically engaged lyrics that tackle everything from body image and reproduction to the Christian right, queer rights and HIV/AIDS activism, released her seventh studio album, California Years, earlier this year. The critically acclaimed LP released through Sobule’s own label, Pinko Records, was funded entirely through fan donations, to the tune of $85,000.
The infamous contretemps between blabbermouth Perez Hilton and Black Eyed Peas manager Liborio Molina goes to court in Toronto on Wed, Aug 26. According to the Toronto Star, Molina won’t need to appear.