A lawsuit can only be described as crazy when the defendant—like, say Elvis Presley—is deceased. But that’s exactly why the late Major Bill Smith filed a lawsuit against the King of Rock and Roll in 1993. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Smith claimed that Presley’s estate makes a ton of money maintaining Presley’s death, and Smith insisted, “There’s no bit of proof that Elvis is dead,” claiming to have met with Presley several times since his alleged (or, in reality, actual) demise. But Smith wasn’t just some random nut job. He had a personal stake in proving Presley was alive. In the mid-1950s, Smith produced some of Presley’s early work, as well as promoted concerts. He also wrote a book titled Memphis Mystery: Elvis…The Man and the Myth, in which he claims Presley faked his death. In his lawsuit, Smith sought $50,000 in damages. He also asked that the Presley estate stop making fun of him for his book. Presley could not be reached for comment.
SACHA BARON COHEN
Hearing that someone filed suit against Sacha Baron Cohen, whom most of us know as Borat and Bruno, comes as no surprise considering his nothing-is-sacred approach to comedy. But he finally went too far when he committed one of the ultimate sins in the eyes of the elderly: disrupting a bingo game. That’s essentially what Richelle Olson claimed in her 2009 lawsuit against Cohen. In her suit, Olson claimed that in 2007 Cohen, who was filming Bruno at the time, used vulgar language and started an altercation that left Olson with a brain injury. When the suit went to trial, Cohen and his producers at Universal Studios submitted footage of the alleged incident, in which Cohen could be heard telling vulgar jokes, according toThe Hollywood Reporter. What also could be heard was some of the elderly audience laughing and Olson finally shouting, “I will not have anyone make a mockery of this bingo hall!” Cohen was escorted from the bingo hall, but no melee took place. Cohen and Universal ultimately won the lawsuit due to First Amendment rights. That’s-a nice!
SEAN “P. DIDDY” COMBS
It wasn’t just “all about the Benjamins” when Valerie Turks filed her $1 trillion lawsuit against Sean “P. Diddy” Combs in 2011. Turks claimed that Combs had fathered a child with her 24 years prior and stole a casino chip from her that was worth “100 zillions of dollars,” according to The Guardian. What’s worse, in her lawsuit, Turks also accuses Combs of masterminding the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center with Kim Porter and Rodney King, and sought a restraining order against Combs because of this. Fortunately, the judge refused to refused to issue said restraining order. Of the $1 trillion dollars, $900 billion is for back child support, and the rest is for lost wages. That makes sense; coming up with a story like that is a full-time job all by itself.
JAY Z AND BEYONCE
Have you ever thought that the actors on television are looking back at you? Of course not. But that’s not the case for one Chinese man who filed a lawsuit against Chinese actress and pop singer Zhao Wei in 2015. In his suit, the unnamed man claimed Wei stared too intently at him through his television and caused something called “spiritual damage,” according to the BBC. There’s a good chance that the Shaolin Soccer star and her husband’s $1 billion dollar fortune spurred the suit on as well. While we’ve been unable to find out how much money the man sought in his case, we have learned a couple of interesting facts. One: in recent years, China has seen an increase in frivolous lawsuits such as this. And two: we now know that other countries have as many crazy people visiting the courts as the US. That helps us sleep a teeny bit better at night.
Jennifer Lopez has the distinction of being the only person on this list to be sued by an entire country. On May 29, 2015, Lopez performed at the Mawazine World Rhythms International Music Festival, for which she wore a form-fitting bodysuit, fishnet tights, and stiletto boots, which is no big deal in her home country. We like that kind of thing. However, the nation of Morocco—which has a primarily Muslim population—took issue with that kind of thing, and an education group there filed suit, claiming that her performance “disturbed public order and tarnished women’s honor and respect.” According to Huffington Post, the Moroccan Prime Minister got involved too. As of this writing, the case was still ongoing, and Lopez faced a sentence of two years in Moroccan prison. But there’s an easy way to avoid any jail time. Just don’t go back there!
In 2015, Taylor Swift began selling t-shirts with the words ‘Lucky 13’ on them. She began doing so because of a strong association she has with the number, saying, “Basically whenever a 13 comes up in my life, it’s a good thing.” So her finding some way to market this association isn’t that strange. The problem is that there’s already a company selling t-shirts called Lucky 13, owned by one Robert Kloetzly. Understandably, Kloetzly filed a trademark infringement suit against the singer, but this suit takes a cringeworthy twist. Kloetzly accused Swift of using her sex appeal to target customers and draw them away from his products. Even worse, according the Daily Mail, Kloetzly filed discovery requests demanding he be given pictures of Swift’s “partially visible” chest and backside. Gross.
DAVID BLAINE AND DAVID COPPERFIELD
Even though Kanye West has an inarguably divisive personality, he still shouldn’t have to deal with frivolous lawsuits. But on April 21, 2014, California inmate Richard Dupree felt he needed to file suit against Kanye, along with Chris Brown, Rihanna, Beyonce, and Jay Z, for stealing lyrics from him. But of course, they couldn’t do this alone. According to Huffington Post, Dupree alleged the superstars received help from Homeland Security, the CIA, and the FBI in stealing over 3,000 songs from him. For compensation, Dupree sought around $2 billion. Oddly enough, there’s no indication that they all conspired to have him put in prison. As of this writing, there’s no word on the outcome of this case. What’s most impressive, however, is that Dupree has managed to make both Kanye West and Chris Brown look sympathetic in one fell swoop.
POPE BENEDICT XVI
God has been around longer and is more well-known than just about everyone else on this list, but not even He is immune to insane lawsuits. In fact, He’s been sued twice. One suit was filed by Nebraska state senator Ernie Chambers in 2007, who filed his suit as an ironic form of protest against frivolous lawsuits. But that point got lost in all the reporting kerfuffle. The other time God got sued, Romanian prisoner Pavel Mircea blamed the good Lord for his 20-year prison sentence for murder, also in 2007. Mircea claimed that God didn’t protect him from the Devil, who caused him to commit the murder. And by not protecting Mircea from the Devil, God failed to uphold his end of the contract signified by Mircea’s baptism. The case never went to trial, and the prison chaplain got stuck with the task of explaining to Mircea “that people have the freedom to choose between good and evil.”