celebrity facts Celebrities Who Sued People for Talking About Them  

Jacob Shelton
12.1k views 25 items

List Rules All celebrities on this list have sued people for defamation - either slander or libel.

In this day and age, with phone records, endless email chains, and people who save three gigs worth of text messages, if you’re going to say something mean about a celebrity, it better be true. Celebrity lawsuits aren’t anything new, but they seem to be happening more frequently in the last 20 years. The most prevalent cases happen when a celebrity feels like they’ve been slandered – be it by the press, by another celebrity, or just some guy on Twitter. Slander is serious business: if enough people believe a lie about you it can be perceived as real and in the entertainment biz, perception is reality. Here’s a list of celebrities who were slandered, and celebrities who sued.

A lot of the famous lawsuits on this list involve a star suing a paper for insisting that they’re too fat, or too skinny, or an alien or whatever, but some of the most interesting cases involve celebrities not wanting to be perceived as something they view as harmful to their career. For James Woods it was being a drug addict; for Jim Carrey it was being gropey; for Bret Michaels it was having the ability to be in two places at the same time. The celebrity slander cases on this list are mostly over with, but some are still pending so keep your eye on the news. You never know when a $500 million ruling is going to come down.
Sean Penn is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Celebrities Who Sued People for Talking About Them
Photo: Juanky Pamies Alcubilla/Flickr

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lee Daniels compared Empire star, Terrence Howard, to Sean Penn, as they've both had a few domestic disputes. Sean Penn didn't care for the comparison and filed a lawsuit against Daniels for the princely sum of $10 million.

Age: 56

Birthplace: California, United States of America

Profession: Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Film Director

Children: Dylan Frances Penn, Hopper Jack Penn

Credits: Mystic River, 21 Grams, Milk, Dogtown and Z-Boys

Also Ranked

#72 on The Best Actors Working Today

#37 on The Best Living American Actors

#95 on The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

#50 on The Best Actors in Film History

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Katie Holmes is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Celebrities Who Sued People for Talking About Them
Photo: s_bukley/Shutterstock

In 2011, Katie Holmes settled a lawsuit against celebrity gossip rag, The Star, for $50 million. The suit was over an article that claimed that Holmes was a drug addict. The magazine issued an apology and even said that they would donate a "substantial donation" to one of Holmes's favorite non-profits.

Age: 38

Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio, United States of America

Profession: Model, Actor

Children: Suri Cruise

Credits: Batman Begins, Dawson's Creek, Go, Phone Booth

Also Ranked

#63 on The Greatest Former Child Stars

#29 on The Greatest '90s Teen Stars

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Tom Cruise is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Celebrities Who Sued People for Talking About Them
Photo: 3601/Shutterstock

In 2003, Tom Cruise won a defamation case against a gay porn actor who claimed to a French magazine that he and Cruise had had an affair that lead the dissolving of Cruise's marriage to Nicole Kidman. The "erotic wrestler" was told to pay a sum of $10 million.

Age: 54

Birthplace: Syracuse, New York, United States of America

Profession: Television director, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor

Children: Suri Cruise, Connor Cruise, Isabella Jane Cruise

Credits: Top Gun, Mission: Impossible, Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men

Also Ranked

#48 on The Best Living American Actors

#52 on The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)

#92 on The Best Actors in Film History

#4 on Celebrities Who Just Seem Crazy to You

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Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Celebrities Who Sued People for Talking About Them
Photo: Tinseltown/Shutterstock

The next time you write a novel, make sure ScarJo isn't a character, because she'll probably sue. Case in point: in 2014 she sued French author Grégoire Delacourt for writing her into his book as a model who had multiple affairs. She said the book defamed her name, but the court disagreed and awarded her just €2,500 of the the €50,000 she asked for.

Age: 32

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Profession: Model, Actor, Voice acting, Singer

Children: Rose Dorothy Dauriac

Credits: Lost in Translation, The Avengers, The Prestige, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Also Ranked

#22 on The Best American Actresses Working Today

#44 on The Best Living American Actresses

#34 on The Greatest Former Child Stars

#37 on Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With

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