Another Reason Not To Hang Out With Celebrities

One of the strangest things to me is how much we worship celebrities in our culture. Turn on any channel or read any newspaper and you’ll eventually see a story about a celebrity. This is perplexing and amusing at the same; especially for people like me, who were born and raised in Los Angeles. It’s not uncommon to see an actor or director walking around or dining at a restaurant. But really, so what? They’re just people, except that they’re typically (not always, I know I’m generalizing) self-centered, uninteresting, and the most famous ones have people following them around all the time. These are plenty of reasons not to want to know, let alone hang out with a celebrity.

But there’s yet another reason not to associate with celebrities: because the mere association with a celebrity may make you a limited purpose public figure!

In Hall v. Time Warner, Inc. (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 1337, the appellate court held that a housekeeper of Marlon Brando who was mentioned in his will "became involved in an issue of public interest by virtue of being named in Brando’s will." This ruling is significant because the mere association with a celebrity may make a person a limited purpose public figure. This means that such a person would potentially be subject to different and higher evidentiary burdens should they decide to file a lawsuit.

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