Why do people take Marty Singer seriously? The cage-rattling, form-letter-rewriting Hollywood lawyer spews lawsuits like anxious starlets spew breakfast. Now, in his latest complaint, against Gawker, the New York Times refers to him as "the legendarily pugnacious Mr. Singer." The suit, according to Gawker (we have not read it, and as near as we can tell it has not been published online), asks for damages of $1 million-I know, seriously, what? A whole million dollars? You mean maybe six weeks of Gawker ad income? What a pitiful request!-for their publication of a video which depicted TV actors hanging out in states of undress. I have read and received letters from Marty Singer's office. You probably have too! They are often factually incorrect, distorting to actual events, and they create such a tenuous legal bubble of reasoning that one can barely take them seriously. They are particularly prone to insane misreadings of the texts that they complain about. Less experienced publishers find them frightening, mostly because they are 1. very long and 2. very irritating and 3. because Marty Singer (along with Lynda Goldman, and the rest of his crew) has worked very hard to establish his reputation as a bulldog or a terrier or whatever sort of dog is a tenacious ankle-biter. But the real sign you're in legal trouble with a celebrity is if they hire a lawyer who is not Marty Singer, and Gawker honcho Nick Denton is totally right to mock it on his Twitter.
Thursday, September 24th, 2009