Paris Hilton defends herself in lawsuit National Lampoon's Pledge This!
Paris Hilton is in Miami federal court today to defend herself against an $8.5 million lawsuit that alleges she failed to promote the 2006 film she starred in, "National Lampoon's Pledge This!"
Local attorney Michael Goldberg filed suit against Hilton and her entertainment company last year, as part of his duties in the receivership of the defunct Worldwide Entertainment Group, a former Miami Beach concert promoter accused in 2006 of bilking investors out of $300 million.
Hilton's million-dollar contract for the movie included obligations to promote it. Her attorneys have stated in responses to the lawsuit that she did promote it, that her image was used on promotion materials and that she appeared at the movie's debut near Chicago. They've said that she was not available for further promotions as requested by promoters after the film's brief release and transition to DVD.
Hilton played a sorority president seeking to boost her image at the fictitious South Beach University.
"Hilton failed to attend any talk shows or telephonic or in-person interviews," Goldberg alleged in the suit.
Hilton's attorneys attempted to have the suit thrown out. The trial is expected to continue into next week.
Also on the witness list: the film's producer Chester English; Hollywood producer Andrew Fogelson as an expert; and Hilton's former manager Jason Moore, by deposition.
"Obligations are a red carpet appearance, no press, no after-party, and you don't have to stay for the film. Then the film goes away," Moore said in a Sept. 28, 2006, e-mail to Hilton regarding the premiere, according to the most recent court filing in the case.
Hilton is represented by the law firm Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif and Taylor of Los Angeles.
Goldberg is pursuing the global assets of former Worldwide Entertainment mogul Jack Utsick of Miami Beach. This comes two years after the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Utsick of securities fraud.
Worldwide Entertainment and its affiliates still have ownership interest in stadiums and concert venues.