Kris Jenner and the Kardashian siblings are suing their late father’s widow for copyright infringement.
The reality stars filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in Los Angeles on Thursday against Ellen Kardashian.
The Kardashians claim Ellen ‘sold their property, such as family photos and writings, to a publishing outlet this past January.’
Legal action: Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, along with their mother Kris Jenner have filed a lawsuit against their late father Robert’s widow Ellen Kardashian
Sued: Ellen Kardashian is the subject of a lawsuit from her stepdaughters
‘Today’s filing should serve as notice that they will vigorously defend
their rights when forced to do so,’ the Kardashians’ lawyer Marty Singer told The Hollywood Reporter.
The items are said to detail the lives of the famous family before they found fame on reality show Keeping up with the Kardashians and have featured in U.S magazines Life & Style and In Touch.
The February 4 issue of In Touch featured an article titled ‘The Secret
Kardashian Diaries’ while Life & Style magazine included a piece with the headline: ‘Feature on the life struggles of the Kardashians including
Ellen married Robert Kardashian two months before he died of cancer in 2003 after dating for around five years.
She is alleged to have retained some of her husband’s possessions including his diary and family photographs and licensed portions of the diaries to Bauer Publishing, which owns the magazines.
In their lawsuit, the Kardashians accuse Ellen of a ‘despicable and unlawful scheme to hold in secret and convert, and now exploit… private personal and copyright protected’ material.
The complaint alleges that Robert Kardashian bequeathed the ‘bulk of his personal tangible and intangible property ‘to his four children, including Robert Kardashian Jr.
The Kardashians claim that the diary and family photo albums are ‘incontestably’ their inheritance and property.
They allege that Ellen has kept her late husband’s belongings ‘with the express intent to one-day capitalise and exploit the valuable property and celebrity of the famous Robert Kardashian.’
The family are now requesting their return.
When Ellen filed for bankruptcy back in 2010, she was required to list all assets and property of value but did not list her possession or ownership of the diaries or photographs.
The new lawsuit alleges that Ellen cannot claim ‘any ownership interest’ because she failed to disclose the items in the bankruptcy process.
The publication of excerpts of Robert Sr’s diary in the U.S. magazines was, according to the lawsuit, an effort by Ellen to ‘peddle and exploit, and disclosed to tabloid and other media, the private and valuable personal papers of Robert Kardashian.’
It asserts that she was paid for an interview and provided purported rights to the the photographs.
The siblings are are now demanding at least $500,000 in damages.
Ellen Kardashian could not immediately be reached for comment over the lawsuit.
Before the split: Kris with Robert Kardashian and their young daughters Kourtney, Khloe and Kim
The new filing appears to be somewhat of an about turn from the Kardashians who called into question the existence of the diaries when excerpts were first published.
The family’s representative released a statement, saying: ‘We have no knowledge of these diaries existing and these accusations are ridiculous and not true.’
Ellen received volleys of insults from the sisters after she leaked the diaries she claimed were penned by the
late lawyer, in which he says their mother Kris Jenner was guilty of
physically abusing Kim.
In the diaries, he supposedly claims the matriarch, 57, kicked, beat and threatened
to kill Kim as their 12-year marriage collapsed.
Ellen has previously claimed her late husband was not the biological father of Khloe Kardashian.
However, both Kim and Khloe took to Twitter back in January to slam Ellen.
Khloe tweeted: ‘How can such a piece
of trash even mention my father’s name. You married him on his death bed
when he was not even aware of his surroundings.
‘You should be hiding in shame for all of the lies you sell to the tabloids. You have no right to even mention
our names especially my mothers! We don’t know you!!! How dare you
spread such lies! You are a disgrace.’
‘Ten years after my fathers passing
& now that she has filed for bankruptcy…NOW she sells FALSE
stories. Hope that money buys you water in hell,’ read a post on her account.
Close: Kim with her father, who famously represented OJ Simpson
Kim, 31 – who is expecting her first
child with Kanye West – also blasted Ellen, tweeting: ’10 yrs since dad
passed & this woman he married 4 2 wks before he died needs to get a
job instead of trying to destroy my family with fake stories.’
Ellen defended herself in an interview with the magazine saying: ‘These are authentic handwritten journals I have shared, that my late husband Robert Kardashian so carefully wrote during 1989 and 1990 at a most trying and touching time of his life.They are my personal possession and he left them to me on his passing.’
She added that the way Khloe mocked her for going bankrupt was unfair, as she could not afford to pay home loans taken out by their father.
She went on: ‘Now that’s old news. When Robert died, he left me a big mortgage on both homes, and I had to pay.
‘So when the real estate market went south, just like 50 per cent of all the rest of Americans, it wasn’t worth keeping. So at my lawyer’s advice, I didn’t.’
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