Another Marriage Hits the Dust

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By: Vita Semchuk

The ideal Hollywood couple, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have decided to seek a divorce after being married for 10 years, which is long by Hollywood standards. This Hollywood couple appeared to have a perfect long term marriage, during which they conceived three beautiful children, were both very successful. They seemed to have it all; happy marriage, healthy children, and great careers.  Unfortunately, even a decade of marriage did not save this power duo’s relationship from going up in flames.

Prior to calling quits and giving up on their marriage, the couple made great efforts to salvage their marriage and rekindle the romance.  The couple was in therapy for two years and attempted to cohabitate separately with the hope of rescuing their marriage but ultimately were not able to see eye to eye on all their issues.  As a result, the couple confirmed their divorce shortly after celebrating their 10th year anniversary.

The couple made a public announcement that while they are moving on with their lives, they are doing so with love and friendship towards each other.  In addition, the couple announced that they are looking forward to co-parenting their children.  This is definitely a different attitude and mindset than many display in divorce situations, which are usually fueled with anger, hate and attacks on one another.

Kardashian Drama: Round Two for Khloe’s Marriage

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By: Vita Semchuk

After struggling with Lamar Odom throughout their marriage, Khloe finally collected the strength to file for a divorce.  However, just when it seemed their marriage was finally permanently over Khloe and Lamar shocked everyone when they both showed up in court to withdraw their divorce papers in 2015.

As America watched the couple’s marriage fall apart on the reality show Kardashians’, it was hard to believe that there was any hope to save Khloe’s and Lamar’s relationship.  Khloe never wanted to get divorced; it actually seemed as though she was using all her hopes, determination, support, and patience to try to save the marriage even as it was crumbling piece by piece before her eyes.  On the other hand, Lamar seemed to be very cold and distant during the breakdown of their marriage.  That’s when Khloe had enough and surrendered her battle to save the marriage and filed for divorce.

Now the couple has decided to give it a second chance.  Although Khloe has proven her loyalty to Lamar throughout his difficult time in life, Lamar has yet to prove his loyalty and appreciation.  Only time will tell whether their reconciliation was in their best interests.

Third Divorce: Does This Mean Three Strikes and She’s Out for Halle Barry?

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By: Vita Semchuk

Actress Halle Berry has been married three times and now will be divorced three times.  Halle Berry was previously married to Eric Benet, David Justice, and now she is in the process of divorcing Oliver Martinez.  In October 2015, after only two years of marriage and with one child together the couple decided to call it quits.

According to People, the couple has decided to keep the divorce cordial and peaceful out of respect for each other and out of love and in the best interest for their son.  Despite the couples’ agreement to pursue an amicable divorce they both retained well respected, influential, top ranked Hollywood attorneys, Stephen Kolodny representing Halle Berry and Laura Wasser representing Oliver Martinez.

The couple is purportedly determined to limit litigation and drama. Maybe their great attorneys will be able to settle the case within a reasonable amount of time and with limited court appearances.  However, if their original plan of amicable divorce doesn’t happen, they both have strong pit-bulls to defend their rights and fight for their best interests who have no problem to put on an unforgettable divorce battle in the process.  As for Halle Barry, she might have stricken out on marriage, so maybe she has also called it quits on a marriage lifestyle.

Celebrity Chef Divorce Heating Up

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The divorce proceedings between celebrity chef Bobby Flay and soon to be ex-wife, actress Stephanie March, have gotten as fiery as anything he has ever cooked up on his grill. The couple has resorted to airing dirty laundry and delivering cheap shots in public and in papers filed as part of the divorce proceedings. Most recently, Flay’s ceremony for receiving his star on the Hollywood “Walk of Fame” was marred by a plane flying overhead bearing a banner that read “cheater”. Ms. March is claiming infidelity on the part of Flay in their divorce proceeding. She also claimed that Flay made a gift to her of an expensive racehorse which won several races while Flay kept the winnings from the races all to himself.

Flay, on the other hand, is claiming that Ms. March refuses to abide by a pre-nuptial agreement she willingly signed over 10 years ago. Ms. March is claiming the terms of the pre-nuptial agreement are unfair and it was signed before Flay had amassed a considerable empire and large profits from his various cooking shows and cookbooks. At the rate this case is going it does not seem likely that it will cool down anytime soon.

In a Divorce Case, Who Gets Custody of the Baby Pictures?

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It’s very common for divorcing couples to fight over custody of their children. But a new legal question is being raised in the celebrity divorce case of Rosie O’Donnell and her
ex-Michelle Rounds. Who gets custody of the baby pictures? This is the latest issue to be raised in a very contentious divorce proceeding.

What is clear is that a picture of the ex-couple’s 2 year old daughter was posted by Rosie O’Donnell to her instagram account. What is not clear is who owns the rights to that picture? Ms. Rounds is claiming that she was the one who took the picture; therefore, she owns the rights to it and can block it from being published anywhere. Rosie obviously feels she has rights to the picture as the child is hers and that she can post the picture where she chooses. Apparently this question will be up to the judge to answer. Depending upon how the judge rules in this case, custody of baby pictures may become a new facet of child custody disputes.

Possible Custody Dispute Looming for Caitlyn Jenner and Kris Jenner?

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Former Olympic Champion Bruce Jenner made headlines recently as the first photos of his transformation to Caitlyn Jenner were published. Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner) appears on the cover of the upcoming Vanity Fair issue.
Bruce Jenner’s divorce from Kris Jenner was finalized in March of 2015. Now that the couple have finally divorced, Caitlyn (Bruce) is claiming the cause of the divorce was not gender issues but rather because mistreatment and abusive behavior on the part of Kris to then Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner. The timing of Caitlyn’s comments seem odd; just when Kris has come out and publicly supported her, Caitlyn has been making disparaging comments about Kris. Might Caitlyn be muddying the waters in advance of a custody dispute? Perhaps Caitlyn is going to be seeking custody of the parties’ children and she wants the court of public opinion on her side.
Something tells me there is more to these latest comments by Caitlyn about Kris. If so, this could become a landmark custody case because of all the associated gender identity issues. No doubt, gender identity issues and the transgender lifestyle would be a big part of any pending custody dispute. The outcome could have far reaching implications for the future of family law.

Muddy Waters Estate to Be Re-Opened After Nearly 30 Years

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In a nearly unprecedented decision, a DuPage County Judge ruled to re-open the long closed estate of Chicago Blues Legend Muddy Watters. Mr. Waters’ estate had been thought previously closed after his death almost 30 years ago. In recent months, the former executor of Mr. Waters’ estate, Scott Cameron, had in recent months been disputing the claims of Mr. Waters’ heirs as to of financial improprieties and mismanaged assets of Waters’ estate on the part of Cameron. Upon his death Waters had appointed Cameron as his executor of his will and tasked Cameron with managing the royalties to music rights and dispersing the revenue earned from those royalties to Waters’ widow and children. Waters’ heirs claimed Cameron had not been managing the music rights properly so as to achieve the most financial gain.
The legal dispute has taken a new turn as Mr. Cameron died and left his responsibilities for managing the royalties to the Cameron Organization. Lawyers for the Cameron Organization are arguing that any claims Waters’ heirs may have are barred by the statute of limitations as it has been 27 years since Waters estate has been closed. Waters’ heirs are seeking to have the estate re-opened to evaluate the assets; the Cameron Organization wants the estate to remain closed. Apparently Waters’ heirs have presented the Judge with enough new evidence to challenge the claim that the estate was closed. What this evidence is remains to be seen. This case is important as it may set new precedent in estate law as to statute of limitations and claims against estates previously thought closed.

Murder in Bali

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The murder trial of the daughter and boyfriend in the case of the deceased Oak Park woman has begun in Bali.
The prosecution’s witnesses include hotel security, staff and police officers. The evidence on its face makes the defendant’s activities around the time of the alleged murder seem suspicious. It will be interesting to see how each defense plans its attack. There is no direct eyewitness account. There is video tape of one of the defendants going back and forth on a stairway several times, carrying various objects between the floor on which the defendants stayed and the floor on which the alleged victim stayed. There are encounters between various hotel staff and one or both of the defendants as the defendants were leaving the hotel-bill unpaid-around the time of the alleged murder.
The defendants are being tried separately. Will each defense strategy be similar? Will either defense strategy be to focus attention on the other defendant? Will either defendant turn (“flip”) and testify for the prosecution in the other’s case?
Stay tuned.

Cubs Win First Round of Rooftop Battle

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Thursday U. S. District Judge Virginia Kendall ruled in favor of the Chicago Cubs, and against the Lakeview Baseball Club and Skybox on Sheffield, by denying the injunction sought by the rooftop businesses barring the Cubs from erecting large scale electronic video boards in their outfield.
Had the businesses prevailed on their injunction, Judge Kendall would have entered a temporary restraining order barring the Cubs and the Ricketts family from erecting these video boards in the outfield at Wrigley Field. Adding electronic video boards is one part of the major renovation project planned by the Cubs, and ultimately the Ricketts family, to rejuvenate Wrigley Field. The planned renovation of Wrigley Field has been a point of contention amongst the rooftop owners and the Cubs organization ever since the Ricketts family purchased the team.
If the Judge had ruled in favor of the rooftop business and granted the temporary restraining order it would have put a major wrench in the renovation plans. This lawsuit is only one of several filed against the Cubs organization and the Ricketts family. There are several others still pending.

KEEP YOUR BOUNDERIES

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I was reading an article on the internet concerning the sexual assault accusations against actor/comedian Bill Cosby. I have no idea whether or not each or any of the accusations is true. Apparently Mr. Cosby was sued civilly by the director of the women’s basketball program at Temple University and he settled that case. To my knowledge no criminal charges have ever been brought against him concerning the sexual assault allegations.

The point is nobody –especially a celebrity- should EVER put himself or herself in a position where accusations can be made. We live in a different world, a very litigious world. It is also a world were even if a case never goes to trial either civilly or criminally, those accused usually lose in the court of public opinion. Lives are ruined; reputations damaged beyond repair; the facts never completely come out.

It is wise to keep your boundaries. Never put yourself in a situation where you can be accused of some misconduct, irrespective of how well intentioned you may be.