Porn star ordered to pay for Naperville theater no-show
Jenna Jameson's cancellation of celebrity meet-and-greets at two DuPage County movie theaters will cost the porn star about $92,000 after she failed to mount a defense.
Judge Patrick Leston issued the default judgment Tuesday in favor of Hollywood theaters owner Ted Bulthaup, who had sued Jameson for breach of contract. Neither Jameson nor an attorney on her behalf appeared in court.
Jameson was scheduled to sign autographs in March 2011 at the Hollywood Palms and Hollywood Blvd. theaters in Naperville and Woodridge, respectively, to promote her 2008 crossover horror comedy "Zombie Strippers!"
Bulthaup said Jameson canceled, citing sickness, just days before the events. His staff later tracked down footage of Jameson attending a birthday party for celebrity blogger Perez Hilton in Hollywood when she claimed to be ill.
Jameson initially retained a lawyer, who argued she was legitimately ill and unable to fly while Bulthaup was unwilling to work within the rescheduling clauses of their contract. The lawyer withdrew after Bulthaup sued him for defamation, citing comments he made to the Daily Herald alleging an "extortion" attempt.
On Tuesday, Leston awarded Bulthaup $42,357 for lost ticket sales, lost food and beverage sales, service fees, marketing, and nonrefundable airfare for Jameson and her two assistants. Bulthaup estimated the value of lost publicity at nearly $248,000, but Leston called that figure "extraordinarily speculative" and instead awarded him $50,000 for those damages. The judge noted that Hollywood has received additional publicity as a result of Bulthaup's lawsuit.
"We are satisfied with the result," attorney Kenneth Sullivan, who represented Bulthaup, said outside of court.
Another of Bulthaup's attorneys, Kevin Mahoney, said the case came down to Jameson's priorities.
"When she was apparently too sick to attend in Illinois, she was well enough to attend in Hollywood," he argued in court.
Bulthaup, whose theaters have brought in such celebrities as Tony Curtis, Burt Reynolds, Christopher Lloyd and Michael Madsen, said Jameson was the first to leave fans in the lurch. He has since enhanced the contract he typically uses for celebrity appearances.
"Everybody can understand it now," Bulthaup said.
Jameson, whose legal name is Jenna Marie Massoli, was to be paid $10,000 for her appearances. She could not immediately be reached for comment.