The Broke and the Beautiful: ‘L.A. Law’ Edition

09/30/11

This week on The Broke and the Beautiful, a company formerly headed by “L.A. Law” actor Corbin Bernsen took its drama to bankruptcy court, and the Los Angeles Dodgers were sued by Fox Sports over broadcasting rights. Also, MLB threatened to toss the team from the league if owner Frank McCourt can’t step up to the plate.

Associated Press
Corbin Bernsen speaks during a news conference kicking off filming of “25 Hill” in April 2010.

Corbin Bernsen may have been at the center of legal drama on “L.A. Law,” but he’s trying to stay out of the courtroom these days. In an interview with Bankruptcy Beat, Bernsen said he wasn’t happy when Public Media Works, a company he led as recently as 2008, was caught in the spotlight after it filed for bankruptcy protection. “I have zero to do with the company,” said Bernsen, who now is working to create “faith and family films” with his new company, Home Theater Films. Public Media noted in a press release Monday that its “inability to identify new sources of liquidity necessary to redeploy and market its kiosks” led it to file for Chapter 11.

A bankruptcy judge may well be a girl’s best friend this week. According to the Associated Press, a Florida bankruptcy judge ruled that images and copyright from Marilyn Monroe’s first photo shoot will be auctioned to help repay creditors of photographer Joseph Jasgur. (Jasgur isn’t the only Monroe photographer to have hit financial troubles, either—Bankruptcy Beat reported in June on the bankruptcy of the estate of Sam Shaw, who captured Monroe’s iconic moment standing over a subway grate.)

Reuters

“Desperate Housewives” actress Eva Longoria’s Beso LLC is back in the news. As Vegas Inc. reported, Judge Mike Nakagawa of the Las Vegas bankruptcy court reminded his audience that the embattled nightclub is actually controlled by a shopping mall after an attorney for an angry investor opposed a buyout deal from Landry’s Restaurants Inc. of Houston. Crystals, which is part of the CityCenter on the Las Vegas Strip, is hoping the celebrity status of Longoria (who’s recently been noted as one of television’s highest-paid actresses) brings business to Beso and the mall.

Associated Press
Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt

The Los Angeles Dodgers may be done playing baseball until 2012, but they’re still at bat in bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy Beat reported that Major League Baseball could strike the team from its lineup if the league can’t make peace with owner Frank McCourt. Also, as Daily Bankruptcy Review reported, Fox Sports sued the team to try to stop it from selling future broadcast rights to help repay creditors. Fox, which is owned by News Corp., which also owns The Wall Street Journal, says the Dodgers don’t have the right to walk off from an exclusive negotiating period between the two.

Getty Images

A federal judge Tuesday said he’d allow Bernard Madoff’s bankruptcy trustee to seek no more than $386 million from the New York Mets’ owners, according to WSJ, a big sigh of relief for a pair who could have been on the hook for $1 billion. And lawyers familiar with the case say the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff limits the scope of what trustee Irving Picard can legally seize in Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme. Helen Davis Chaitman, a lawyer representing former Madoff customers being sued by Picard, said the trustee would end up getting “a lot less money.”


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