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Are we really surprised? From DUI arrests to stolen necklaces and Twitter tirades, celebrites provided quite a show of legal troubles to keep lawyers busy in 2011. — Amanda Bronstad   PRIME TIME ‘ADONIS’

Charlie Sheen, the former star of the hit TV show Two and a Half Men, turned to hardball litigator Marty Singer to file a $100 million lawsuit in March against his former employers, WB Studio Enterprises Inc. and Chuck Lorre Productions, after they fired him from the record $1.8 million-per-episode gig. Before filing the suit, he had been hospitalized for what he said was a hernia and was undergoing rehabilitation for drug addiction at his house. The lawsuit followed a media campaign in which he described himself as having “Adonis DNA” and “tiger blood.” The case settled confidentially out of court in September, although reports estimated the value at $25 million. Sheen defended his antics to NBC thus: “I’m tired of pretending like I’m not special. I’m tired of pretending like I’m not a total bitchin’ rock star from Mars.”


A Los Angeles jury convicted Conrad Murray, the personal physician of the late Michael Jackson, of involuntary manslaughter in November. He had pleaded not guilty to charges that he injected Jackson with a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol just days before the singer’s “This is It” comeback tour was to begin in London. Murray, represented by J. Michael Flanagan, was sentenced later to four years in jail. The Houston doctor plans to appeal his conviction, and has asked for a public defender. His civil attorney, Charles Peckham, reportedly later complained about the strict security jail officials enforced for Murray in jail: “Treating him like Hannibal Lecter is offensive.”


Lindsay Lohan, already on probation for a previous DUI conviction, started the year in February facing criminal charges that she stole a $2,500 necklace from a jewelry store in Los Angeles. Represented by attorney Shawn Chapman Holley, Lohan originally was sentenced to four years in prison, but ended up serving probation and home detention, during which she was ordered in June to stop hosting parties at her townhouse. After failing to show up at a women’s center for community service, she was sentenced to 30 days in jail in November but released hours later due to overcrowding. She ended the year with a favorable report by the judge, having completed a good portion of her community service doing janitorial work at a Los Angeles County morgue.


It seemed Andy Dick was doing so well for a while, but the comedian of ill repute started the year in January by getting thrown out of the AVN Awards, an adult film ceremony, for allegedly groping porn actress Tera Patrick and drag queen/pornographer Chi Chi LaRue. Dick, a former cast member of The Ben Stiller Show who went on to create MTV’s The Andy Dick Show, was arrested in May for public intoxication at a restaurant in Temecula, Calif. He retained attorney Marc Williams after being indicted in June by a grand jury in Cabell County, W.Va., on charges of sexual assault of a bartender.


Courtney Love in March abruptly settled a defamation case filed by fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir after Love posted a series of sometimes incoherent rants about her via Twitter; the two had fallen out over an allegedly unpaid $4,000 clothing bill. (E.g.: “asswipe nasty lying hosebag thief.” It was, Love, insisted, a matter of opinion.) The case, the first defamation action filed against a celebrity over statements made via social media, was closely watched both by celebrity watchers and the intellectual property bar. Love, widow of the late Kurt Cobain, reportedly agreed to pay $430,000 to settle just before going to trial. She was represented by James Janowitz. “The amount of the settlement says it all,” Simorangkir attorney Bryan Freedman told The Hollywood Reporter.


Former baseball player Lenny Dykstra retained Mark Werksman after being indicted in May on federal bankruptcy fraud charges in connection with his $18.5 million house in Thousand Oaks, Calif., once owned by hockey ­legend Wayne Gretzky. Dykstra, who played for the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies, pleaded no contest in October to separate charges of grand theft auto and filing a false financial report. He faces four years in prison. In October, he was charged in Los Angeles with indecent exposure after several alleged victims, responding to Craigslist ads for personal assistants or housekeepers, arrived to find the job also required massage services. Having so informed them, they alleged, Dykstra disrobed and exposed himself. Earlier, a housekeeper accused him of sexual assault.


In March, the 1995 Olympic gold medal wrestling champ Kurt Angle, who has a history of DUI charges, was arrested in Grand Forks County, N.D., for being intoxicated while behind the wheel of a parked car. He pleaded guilty in April to reckless driving in a deal that included one year of unsupervised probation and a suspended 10-day jail sentence. Then, in September, Angle was arrested in Warren County, Va., for driving under the influence. The Total Nonstop Action Wrestling World Heavyweight champ, represented by attorneys Frank Smith and C. Todd Gilbert, entered a no contest plea in November on charges of reckless driving and paid a $1,500 fine.


All-Star outfielder Manny Ramirez was arrested in September for domestic violence in Broward County, Fla. Ramirez, who most recently played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays, was charged with domestic battery and ordered to have no contact with his wife. He pleaded not guilty in October and is represented by local attorney Julio E. Gonzalez Jr. He retired this year from baseball after testing positive a second time for performance-enhancing drugs, but was reinstated in December under an agreement with Major League Baseball that carried a 50-game suspension. Ramirez is the highest-owed unsecured creditor of the Dodgers, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June; his claim is for $21 million. “Every day that goes by I regret the decisions I made by following bad advice,” Ramirez told ESPN.


Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage was arrested in April for domestic abuse and disturbing the peace after dragging his wife through New Orleans’ French Quarter during an argument. Heavily intoxicated, the star pounded on cars and taunted cops. Orleans Parish authorities did not press charges. Cage has been represented by Harry Rosenberg. The arrest followed another incident during Mardi Gras in which police escorted Cage out of Jackson Square restaurant Stella! following a scuffle. One window wound up broken. Cage won the Oscar for best actor in a leading role for playing an alcoholic in the 1995 film Leaving Las Vegas.

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