Porn star fights back in DuPage lawsuit
Lawyers for an adult film star say they'll be in DuPage County court Thursday to fight allegations that she broke her contract by skipping a personal appearance to promote her movie - the 2008 film "Zombie Strippers!" - at two local theaters.
Jenna Jameson is hardly camera-shy, but images of the porn star-turned-actress/industry-spokesperson at a celebrity blogger's birthday party led to a lawsuit from the theater owner.
Jameson, whose legal name is Jenna Marie Massoli, is accused in a lawsuit of breaching her contract with theaters in Naperville and Woodridge by ditching special screenings of the film to instead hang out with entertainment blogger Perez Hilton.
Ted Bulthaup, who owns the Hollywood Palms and Hollywood Boulevard Cinemas, said he had "no choice" but to take the actress to court after she backed out of their agreement, citing a medical emergency, the day before she was to arrive in the suburbs.
It wasn't long before photos surfaced online showing Jameson attending Hilton's birthday bash the same day she claimed she was too ill to be in DuPage. Meanwhile, Bulthaup said he was forced to turn away hundreds of fans -- and potentially high revenue.
But Jameson's attorney, who said he was discussing the case publicly for the first time Wednesday, claimed the situation isn't as clear-cut as it might seem.
"Their whole case is premised on this fictitious belief that she was fine and simply decided to engage in a different venue that night," Naperville attorney Paul Nordini said. "We'll present that Hollywood actually breached the agreement long before the suit because they tried to extort and blackmail her (Jameson) for money."
According to the lawsuit, the actress agreed to appear March 24-26 in exchange for at least $10,000, first-class airfare and hotel stays, all meals, and ground transportation, as well as accommodations for her agent and personal assistant. A "provable medical illness" was the only circumstance in which she could cancel, the lawsuit says.
On March 22, the lawsuit says, Bulthaup received a "vague doctor's note" indicating medical issues would prevent Jameson from being able to "work or travel for the foreseeable future."
Nordini said he could not elaborate on Jameson's health, but a video from Hilton's party in California shows her assistants "literally holding her up by the armpits," followed closely behind by a nurse.
"No one could look at that video and say she's just fine," Nordini said.
Nordini said his client tried to reschedule the appearances, according to the contract, but was rebuffed by the theaters, who only "wanted to extort and blackmail her for $50,000" under the threat of a lawsuit.
Bulthaup denied any extortion attempt.
"We have emails galore that are completely contradictory to extortion," he said. "They're just throwing up a bunch of stuff and trying to get it to stick."
Jameson's case is being heard by DuPage Judge Patrick Leston, who last week entered a default judgment against the actress after she failed to appear in court or send an attorney on her behalf.
When the case returns to court today, Thursday, Nordini said he will argue to vacate that judgment. He also plans to file motions seeking to disqualify Bulthaup's attorney and any others from the Bryan Cave law firm in Chicago from handling the case.
Nordini said they should be disqualified because Bulthaup's attorney participated in the alleged extortion attempt and could be called as a witness if the case proceeds to trial.
Bulthaup's attorney declined to comment.