Sunday, October 22, 2006

Jennifer Lopez gets fined


Court fines Jennifer Lopez

Attorneys for the pop diva and her first ex-husband, Ojani Noa, were each fined $250 Tuesday for failing to be adequately prepared for a court hearing in which Lopez was due to continue her legal campaign to prevent Noa from publishing a tell-all book about their short-lived marriage.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Victor H. Person has given Lopez's lawyer, Kristina Brittenham, and her first mister's lawyer, Robert Vasquez, 10 days to pony up the paltry sum. Person also gave the legal teams until Oct. 30 to file documents that were supposed to be handed over to the court Tuesday.

The MIA case management papers were due to include vital details, including the estimated length of the trial, what info the legal teams will require from the other side and information on additional parties or related cases. Based on the documents, the judge was due to rule on whether the case would go forward to trial or first be sent to an arbitrator to attempt to broker an amicable resolution. A new hearing on those matters has been rescheduled for Nov. 9.

The tell-all saga kicked off in April, when the current Mrs. Marc Anthony filed a restraining order against Noa to prevent him from negotiating a book deal. The stop the presses request was part of a larger suit that claimed Noa said he would make his manuscript, The Unknown Truth: A Passionate Portrait of a Serial Thriller, disappear if Lopez paid him $5 million. Among other bits of dirty laundry, the book purportedly would detail the couple's first sexual encounter, as well as examples of the star's alleged infidelity.

In June, Noa acquiesced to the preliminary injunction, temporarily halting the need for formal court dates. As part of the provisional truce, Noa was forbidden from criticizing, denigrating or casting in a negative light his ex-missus, and was also prohibited from profiting off personal details of the star, regardless of whether or not they made it into book form.

Last month, the singer's lawyers filed documents seeking to put the lawsuit on hold while the former couple attempted to resolve the dispute through arbitration, mediation or other non-legal means. A ruling on the request will likely be made at next month's hearing.

Things weren't always so contentious. The twosome met in a Miami restaurant and tied the knot in February 1997, well before J.Lo was a household name. They divorced just 11 months later (besting the length of her second marriage, in 2003 to choreographer Cris Judd, by two months). But it looks like the third time may be the charm for Lopez. She's currently in her longest post-fame relationship to date, having tied the knot with Anthony in June 2004.

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