Lawsuit: an effort to repay ripped off people in fraud case

    Written by the Associated Press

    Other news: Someone else is trying to take Paris Hilton to court and attack the TV series Paris Hilton’s My New BFF, but it’s a far less serious one. Click here for more info.

    In an odd intersection of showbiz and securities fraud, proving a claim that Paris Hilton was a lousy pitchwoman would benefit investors jilted by a Ponzi scheme she had no part in.

    A federal lawsuit set to go to trial Thursday against Hilton contends she didn’t do enough to promote the 2006 sorority hijinks movie “Pledge This!” and seeks about US$8 million in damages from Hilton and her company, Paris Hilton Entertainment Inc.

    One of the main investors in the box-office bomb was once a high-flying concert and theatre promoter from Miami named Jack Utsick, who was listed as one of the movie’s producers. When the admittedly bad movie lost money, his now-defunct Worldwide Entertainment Group took a financial hit.

    But it’s not Utsick who’s suing Hilton. Rather, the lawsuit stems from an effort to repay people ripped off in what federal securities investigators say was a $300-million Ponzi scheme hatched by Utsick. Hilton’s work on the film had nothing to do with the scheme.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission said Worldwide Entertainment was a multimillion-dollar fraud and won a civil judgment earlier this year against Utsick and several associates. A federal judge appointed attorney Michael Goldberg as receiver to collect as much money as possible for some 3,300 wronged investors.

    It was Goldberg who filed the lawsuit against Hilton. He claims she failed to adequately promote the DVD release for “Pledge This!” and that she deprived the film’s investors of $8.3 million in profits by not co-operating.

    Hilton and her attorneys claim she went the extra mile to plug the movie, which played in just 25 theatres and made only about $2.9 million worldwide, according to court documents. Hilton, 28, is expected to testify in the three-day bench trial before U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno.

    In a deposition, Hilton said she did promotion events at the Cannes Film Festival in France, appeared at the movie’s Chicago premiere and generally mentioned it publicly whenever possible.

    “Any chance I got, any red carpet, any press, if I was doing something for another product, even if I wasn’t asked about it, I would just bring it up,” she said.

    Goldberg, however, contends that she rejected numerous TV talk shows and wouldn’t do several radio or magazine interviews to promote the movie, despite a contract requiring her to do so. But Hilton, who was paid $1 million to act in the movie, counters she never was paid a promised $125,000 bonus.

    The film’s completion came as Utsick’s Worldwide Entertainment venture was plummeting from its once-lofty perch that included setting up concert tours for acts such as Elton John, Shania Twain, Ricky Martin, Santana, the Pretenders and Aerosmith.

    The SEC claimed in a 2006 lawsuit that Utsick and his associates ran a Ponzi scheme, promising unreasonable returns while pocketing money to fund a lavish lifestyle and paying off older investors with cash from new ones.

    Utsick refused to leave Brazil, where he now lives, to give a deposition in the SEC lawsuit, contending through his attorneys that he’d be arrested in the U.S. No criminal charges have been filed against him and Utsick claims that the SEC’s allegations are wrong and plans to appeal, said his lawyer Richard Kraut.

    Utsick “wants it known to all that he operated a large, worldwide business with legitimate operations,” Kraut said.

    U.S. District Judge Paul Huck took a different view, ordering Utsick in May to cough up more than $4.1 million in ill-gotten gains and assets that afforded him a rented luxury Miami condominium, yacht and vintage cars. Any money recovered from Utsick or the Hilton lawsuit would go to defrauded investors.

    Posted: July 8th, 2009
    Comments: 2

    Paris Hilton expected to appear in court on Thursday

    Written by Miami Herald / Edited by PHS

    Paris Hilton is expected to appear in federal court in Miami on Thursday, regarding a contract dispute over a 2006 National Lampoon movie she was supposed to promote — but allegedly didn’t.

    The lawsuit was brought by local entertainment investor Michael I. Goldberg, of the Entertainment Group Fund, who claims he lost a ton of money on Pledge This. A call to Hilton’s Miami lawyer went unreturned Monday.

    Posted: July 7th, 2009
    Comments: 7

    Unreleased song: Paris Hilton – Globetrottin’

    Important message to those who have been unable to post comments: It should work now!

    This must be one of Paris Hilton’s unreleased songs from the fifth episode of My BFF 2, Globetrottin’! Can anyone confirm?


    Posted: July 5th, 2009
    Comments: 22

    Video: Paris Hilton at Press Conference in Beirut

    Posted: July 4th, 2009
    Comments: 1

    News Coverage of Paris Hilton in Beirut by LBC channel

    Posted: July 4th, 2009
    Comments: 1

    Kat McKenzie from British BFF has died

    RIP

    Reported by La-Deli / Edited by PHS / Thanks to Jaime

    Kat Mckenzie - RIPAccording to Sam Hextall the winner of Paris Hilton’s British Best Friend, his runner up competition Kat McKenzie has died. The winner posted his condolences on his twitter, but refrains from stating the cause of death when asked out of respect for her family.

    Contestants Meddie Ford and  Chrissie Wunna also voiced condolences on twitter. Of course, twitter is not a reliable news-source and there have understandably been no news reports on the death. However one of the shows contestant’s got in touch with LA Deli to say the following:

    “I can confirm that she has passed away as of last night.”

    Further comments have been made public by the contestants via a facebook group with such dedications as:

    Im so glad that i got the opportunity to get to know Kat…I have never met someone who has made such a big impression on me .She was full of life and had the most beautiful smile i have ever seen..-layla

    Kat was such an out going lively character with such a big personality and behind this she was also a lovely girl with a big heart! – Ola

    I will miss her greatly and will always envy her courage,confidence and love of life – Samuel

    Posted: July 4th, 2009
    Comments: 17

    Paris Hilton in Beirut, Lebanon

    Reported by Ahlan Live

    Girl about town Paris Hilton dropped into one of Dubai’s best-loved Lebanese restaurants – café blanc in Festival City – on June 30 for a feast with some of her friends. Overheard saying ‘’I wish we had something like this in New York’’ the blonde beauty walked away with her very own café blanc sheesha!

    Posted: July 3rd, 2009
    Comments: 4

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