lowe-family.jpgMine is an Industry website which ignores celebrity news unless it’s business oriented. So the reason I’m writing about Rob Lowe right now is because he’s helping showbiz stars try to protect their personal lives against threats of blackmail. His effort should profoundly impact the commercial trafficking in Hollywood celebrity.

The co-star of ABC’s Brothers & Sisters and political supporter of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger blogged on The Huffington Post today to expose what he termed a “household betrayal”. But also reps for the actor and his wife Sheryl wanted me to know that the couple also filed individual lawsuits today against three former household employees who’d all signed confidentiality agreements. The legal action came, I’m told, after Lowe had his people spend several days investigating the claims of a nanny who’d worked for his family on and off for 7 years. The actor said on his blog she allegedly demanded payment of $1.5 million by the end of the week or she would accuse the couple of a “vicious laundry list of false terribles”. But a Lowe spokesman told me that “the thorough probe of all former nannies and estate managers, as well as employees of Rob’s production company, could find no one who had ever seen Rob or Sheryl doing anything inappropriate.”

lawsuit.jpgAccording to the Lowe rep, “Instead of paying off as most celebrities do, he decided that you have to make a stand on this. That’s very very rare and unusual. Most people try to sweep these things under the rug because the allegations are so damaging if they get out. But Rob was not going to be blackmailed. So he’s fighting it.”

The lawsuits consist of two filed in Santa Barbara County and one filed in Los Angeles County. The complaint in Santa Barbara Superior Court accuses the Lowe family’s former “long-term” nanny Jessica Gibson of breach of the written contract, defamation, breach of the duty of loyalty, breach of fiduciary duty, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent affliction of emotional distress, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, trespassing, and abuse of process.

The other Santa Barbara complaint accuses ex-Lowe family chef Peter Clements of breach of the written contract, breach of written release agreement, defamation, breach of the duty of loyalty, breach of fiduciary duty, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent affliction of emotional distress, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, and trespassing.

And the suit in L.A. Superior Court accuses one-time Lowe family “short-term” nanny Laura Boyce of breach of the written contract, defamation, breach of the duty of loyalty, breach of fiduciary duty, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent affliction of emotional distress, intentional misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation.

Blogged Lowe: “Everyone knows we live in a time where public figures are targets. But I also know of many people in everyday life who are paying the price of a climate where anyone can accuse anybody of anything, anytime, and hope for a big cash pay-off at the end. ‘Hush money’ to just go away. Well I won’t go away. No one intimidates my family. My wife and I have many former and long term employees, all of whom know this woman, who can and will refute any claims of anything inappropriate in our home, or anywhere else. We will defend ourselves with vigor and without fear.”

I won’t repeat all the very personal details — because I’m sure sites like TMZ will.