CHICAGO—Thanks to her new lawyer, former porn queen Jenna Jameson caught a break last week when Associate DuPage County Circuit Court Judge Patrick J. Leston vacated a default judgment he had entered a week earlier against Jameson, paving the way for an out-of-court settlement.
Jameson is being sued for $50,000 by Ted E.C. Bulthaup III, the owner of Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville and Hollywood Boulevard Cinema in Woodridge, for failing to show up for scheduled March 2011 screenings of 2008’s Zombie Strippers!
Jameson starred in the campy flick and had contacted with the theaters to autograph photographs of herself and 200 copies of her book, How To Make Love Like A Porn Star, and also to interact with the fans.
Earlier this month, AVN quoted from a story in the Naperville Sun, which reported, “Bulthaup said his company sold hundreds of advance tickets to the screenings; paid Jameson, her agent and personal assistant to travel to the Naperville-Woodridge area; and ‘invested thousands of dollars in advertising [and] dedicated hundreds of employee hours to making the weekend's events a success,’ the suit stated. Her appearances would have generated ‘tens of thousands of dollars in revenue’ for the cinemas and Jameson, according to the litigation.”
Buthaup acknowledged that Jameson’s agent has sent him a “vague doctor’s note” alleging a medical emergency that made her unable to appear, but said he then learned that she had attended blogger Perez Hilton's 33rd birthday "Blue Ball” on the same night she was supposed to make an appearance at his theater. Photos of Jameson at the party were posted to the Perez blog.
Bulthaup served Jameson on May 24, and on July 7 Leston entered the default judgment, citing Jameson’s failure to defend against the action. That’s when Jameson apparently got serious and lawyered up.
“Naperville attorney Paul D. Nordini, whose clients have included professional athletes and other celebrities, was recently recruited by Jameson to defend her in the litigation,” reported the Naperville Sun.
According to the paper, Nordini went on the offensive, accusing Bulthaup’s legal team of trying to “extort and blackmail” Jameson in April when they sent her an email “that essentially said they are disinterested in following the terms” of the contract. Nordini characterized the email as a warning to Jameson that she would be sued if she did not cough up $50,000 by May 4.
“This was an attempt to extort and blackmail money from her,” Nordini said of his client, adding, “Her position is that she was never in breach of an agreement, and was engaged in trying to reschedule.”
Nordini also has asked Leston to disqualify Bulthaup’s lawyers, and says he has even informed DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan about the alleged extortion attempt.
Despite those aggressive maneuvers, Nordini was quoted by the Sun as saying that he and Bulthaup’s attorneys are “trying to somehow resolve the case” before it goes to trial.