UPDATED with latest: A Los Angeles jury today rejected model Blac Chyna’s defamation lawsuit against members of the Kardashian/Jenner clan — a major victory for the reality TV personalities who were accused of derailing Chyna’s unscripted television career.
Jurors deliberated for a full day Friday and throughout Monday morning, indicating mid-afternoon Monday they had reached a verdict. That verdict sided with the Kardashians and Jenners, with the panel declining to award any damages to Chyna.
Chyna had been seeking more than $100 million in damages.
The model sued Kim Kardashian, 41, Khloe Kardashian, 37, Kylie Jenner, 24, and their mother, Kris Jenner, 66, alleging defamation and contract interference. Chyna, 33, claimed the women all bad-mouthed her to E! network executives, leading to the cancellation of the “Rob & Chyna” reality show.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gregory W. Alarcon last week dismissed the defamation claim against Kim Kardashian, ruling there was no evidence that she said anything defamatory about Chyna.
The jury on Monday rejected the remaining claims.
PREVIOUSLY ON APRIL 29: A judge handed Kim Kardashian a victory today in Blac Chyna’s lawsuit against members of the Kardashian/Jenner clan by dismissing the plaintiff’s defamation claim as it pertains to the reality TV star.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gregory W. Alarcon found that Chyna’s attorney, Lynne Ciani, showed no evidence during trial that Kim Kardashian said anything defamatory about the 33-year-old Chyna.
The judge’s ruling still leaves Kardashian facing the contract interference claim along with her mother, Kris Jenner, and sisters Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian — who all remain accused of defamation as well. Deliberations continued today on those counts with the jury unable to reach a verdict before adjourning for the weekend.
Chyna lost money from club appearances, social media and television due to the efforts of the quartet in getting E! network executives to not go forward with a second season of Rob & Chyna, Chyna’s attorney told the jury on Thursday. But a lawyer for the Kardashian-Jenner clan said Chyna has made millions in the years since the show last aired and that his clients did nothing wrong.
Chyna, whose real name is Angela Renee White, alleges Khloe Kardashian, Kris Jenner and Kylie Jenner made false statements about her having physically assaulted Rob Kardashian, causing her to lose considerable money from the cancellation of the Rob & Chyna show — a reality series she appeared in with former fiancé.
Rob Kardashian maintains Chyna hit him with a 6-foot metal rod or pulled a phone cord around his neck on the night of Dec. 14, 2016, which started as a celebration of what they thought was a renewal for a second season of their reality show. Ciani denied his claims. Chyna has admitted wielding Kardashian’s gun, but maintains it was unloaded and she was being playful.
PREVIOUSLY on April 28: A video deposition from NBC Universal Chairman, Entertainment Networks Frances Berwick was seen today in the trial for Blac Chyna’s lawsuit against four members of the Kardashian family whom she alleges pressured the E! network to drop the second season of her show, Rob & Chyna.
In her deposition, recorded pre-Covid and shown today, Berwick conteded that the second season of Rob & Chyna did not go forward because the relationship between its stars, Chyna and Rob Kardashian, had reached a “sad place.”
Asked by Chyna’s attorney, Lynne Ciani, why NBC issued a news release stating that there would be a second season of Rob & Chyna, Berwick said, “The press release was an indication of what we were hoping to do. With the benefit of hindsight, it was inaccurate.”
Berwick also said it would have been a blow to E! if Keeping Up With the Kardashians was pulled from the network lineup, as Ciani has alleged the defendants — Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner — threatened to do if Rob & Chyna was granted a second season.
Chyna’s complaint alleges the quartet lied when telling E! network executives that Chyna assaulted Rob Kardashian because they wanted the network to cancel a second season of Rob & Chyna, which dealt with the ups and downs of the formerly-engaged couple. It further alleges the second season had already begun filming before the plug was pulled.
Berwick testified that given the “sad place” their relationship had reached, E! executives did not believe the former couple a was a “good fit” to provide the “frothy and escapist” content the network preferred for its shows.
PREVIOUSLY on April 27: Rob Kardashian testified today that he feared for his life during a celebration-turned argument nine days before Christmas 2016 with then-fiancee Blac Chyna at the home they shared.
Kardashian, 34, said Chyna, 33, put a gun to his head twice, tried to strangle him with a phone cord and hit him all over his body with a six-food metal rod.
“She tried to kill me,” an often-agitated Kardashian said while answering questions from Chyna’s lawyer, Lynne Ciani, who asked him not to refer to Chyna as “your client,” but instead as “Chyna” or “Ms. White.” Chyna’s real name is Angela Renee White.
Kardashian, in turn, repeatedly told Ciani to stop calling the metal rod a pole.
Despite the violence he maintains occurred the night of Dec. 14, 2016 — which started as a celebration of what they thought was a renewal for a second season of their reality show, Rob & Chyna — Kardashian said he did not report what happened to the sheriff’s department, believing that as the mother of his then-newborn child he should keep the problems between them. The child, Dream Renee, is now 5 years old.
“I always tried to protect her even when she has a gun to my head,” Kardashian said, explaining that he even skipped a baby shower thrown by his family because Chyna did not want to go. He said he instead went to a baby shower put on by Chyna’s friends.
Kardashian said he and Chyna became acquainted “probably at the lowest point in my entire life” after he’d been hospitalized with health issues.
“She was the one person who kind of brought me in,” he said.
Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jenner, 66, is a defendant along with three of Rob Kardashian’s siblings — Kim Kardashian, 41, Khloe Kardashian, 37, and Kylie Jenner, 24 — in the trial of Chyna’s Los Angeles Superior Court defamation lawsuit. Chyna alleges that they convinced E! to cancel Rob & Chyna.
PREVIOUSLY on April 26: Kim Kardashian and sister Khloe took the stand today in Blac Chyna’s lawsuit alleging members of the famous family scuttled the second season of her E! reality show because of her rocky relationship with their brother Rob.
In about an hour of testimony, Kim Kardashian was questioned about texts she is alleged to have sent. She said repeatedly that she did not recall the texts, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“I don’t remember text messages that I sent this morning,” she explained.
While Kardashian maintained she did nothing to scuttle Season 2 of Rob and Chyna, one alleged message had her refusing to have Chyna on the then-flagship Keeping Up series.
“I think we all need to take a break from filming at this point until we figure out what’s going on. She is not going to be on our show,” the text to Bunim Murray EP Amanda Weinstein allegedly read. “So if you guys are going to film with Rob and Chyna, and then you are going to lose the Kardashians and Jenners.”
On the stand today, Kardashian explained her refusal to work with Chyna on Keeping Up With the Kardashians thusly: “I will not go into a toxic work environment. On my own show, I have the power to do that.”
Khloe Kardashian sounded a similar note in her testimony saying, “We were all considering not being a part of such toxicity.”
The latter sister also allegedly said in an email to E! read today, “We are even considering not moving forward with our show if theirs continues, that’s how strongly we feel this is damaging to our family.”
Kim insisted that it was not the family’s decision to drop Rob & Chyna.
And former E! president Adam Stotsky testified today that while the network announced in 2016 that the couple’s show would have a second season, production never began.
“It happens all the time,” Stotsky said in response to questions about shows being greenlit but later canceled.
Asked if the Kardashians had forced E! to drop Rob and Chyna he replied. “They don’t have the authority to actually do that.”
PREVIOUSLY on April 22: During her second day of testimony Friday, Kris Jenner said she “did not have any influence” over E!’s decision to ditch Season 2 of Rob & Chyna, which starred her son Rob Kardashian and his fiancée Blac Chyna.
She did allege, however, that Chyna “tried to murder” her son by allegedly putting a gun to his head during a December 2016 fight, which is at the center of a $108 million defamation lawsuit filed by Chyna against Kris Jenner and daughters Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian.
“I was told she put a gun to his head and she was drinking…I can’t imagine how that must feel to have a gun pointed at your head,” Jenner said.
Chyna’s complaint alleges the quartet lied when telling E! network executives that Chyna assaulted Rob Kardashian because they wanted the network to cancel a second season of Rob & Chyna, which had already begun filming before the plug was indeed pulled.
Chyna maintains the relationship ended in the summer of 2017, but the defendants say Chyna acknowledged in a written declaration that the two split in December 2016, meaning the second season could not be aired.
Looking at the declaration Chyna said, “That’s my signature, but I didn’t sign it.”
The family matriarch said things took a turn for the worse the night of Dec. 14, 2016, when Rob Kardashian was allegedly assaulted by Chyna at Kylie Jenner’s Hidden Hills home. Chyna was alleged to have pointed a gun at him, choked him with a phone cord, hit him with a metal pole and ripped open his shirt. Yesterday, Chyna defending herself from the allegation by saying she was joking by using the gun.
“It’s not a joke,” Jenner said today.
She also added that she didn’t have influence over E!’s decision to pull season two of Rob & Chyna.
“I did not have any influence over the E! network,” said Jenner.
Television producer Jeff Jenkins, who was one of the original EPs on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, testified that he wasn’t surprised E! pulled season two because it is “very difficult to shoot a show…when they [Rob and Chyna] didn’t want to talk to each other.”
“They were just disgusted with each other,” he added, saying it was hard to get them in the same room, let alone live together.
Jenkins said that the first season of the show had relatively “solid” ratings for E! at the time. Producers tried to get Rob Kardashian and Chyna to reconcile and offered to provide a therapist who would visit them in their house, Jenkins testified. He said Chyna refused and he left the conversation thinking the show would be over.
“The premise is two people living together in love,” he said.
Kris Jenner returned to the stand after Jenkins’ testimony Friday morning and was asked about a letter that Rob Kardashian sent to her and all of her daughters, Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kendall and Kylie.
In the letter — which was sent on Jan. 11, 2017, a few weeks after the fight with Chyna — Rob asks his mother and sisters to let season two move forward.
Kris Jenner said during her testimony that she didn’t think Rob wrote the letter himself, saying he never writes her letters and that it doesn’t sound like his voice.
“I think he allowed the letter to be sent, I just don’t think he wrote it,” Kris Jenner said. She added that at the time, the couple’s relationship was fine one day and not the next.”
It is unclear how such a letter in January 2017 jibes with the Kardashian matriarch’s declaration that the two split in December 2016
Jenner was also asked why her daughters Khloe and Kylie sent a letter to E! demanding that season two of Rob & Chyna be canceled, but Kris Jenner said that there wasn’t anything to cancel, because there wasn’t a season two yet.
“They had an option that they didn’t exercise … there’s nothing to be canceled,” she said.
Jenner told jurors both Thursday and Friday that she never considered calling the police about Chyna’s alleged threats against Kylie Jenner.
“We just kept it internal within the family because we really wanted to take care of it ourselves,” Kris Jenner said Thursday.
Chyna maintains she did not harm Rob Kardashian, but admits damaging a television owned by Kylie Jenner and two gingerbread house decorations.
PREVIOUSLY on April 21: Blac Chyna agreed today that the second season of Rob & Chyna could not proceed after she obtained a temporary restraining order against her former fiancé and co-star, Rob Kardashian, in July 2017. The two appeared together on the show, which ran one season on E! in 2016.
Chyna’s lawsuit contends that Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner lied in alleging that Chyna assaulted Rob Kardashian when speaking to E! network executives in order to prevent Chyna from booking a second season of Rob & Chyna. It was Chyna’s second full day of testimony in Los Angeles Superior Court. All defendants but Kylie Jenner were present in court.
Asked by defense attorney Michael G. Rhodes whether network executives were prevented from proceeding with another season of Rob & Chyna given that the court order, among other things, directed Rob Kardashian to stay at least 100 yards from her, Chyna answered, “Yes.”
The Kardashian lawyer maintained — and Chyna disputed — that she willingly accepted $100,000 to allow the second season of Rob & Chyna to be terminated even after filming had begun. On Thursday, she said that although her signature was on the document, she did not put it there.
“I would never sign…for $100,000 to kill my number one show,” Chyna said. “That’s my signature, but I didn’t sign it.”
Chyna, whose real name is Angela Renee White, said that despite clashes with Rob Kardashian during their relationship, the peaks and valleys of their time together made their internal drama ideal for a second season of their reality show.
“That’s what made the show so good, we were being [authentic] and not being fake,” said Chyna.
Asked by Rhodes about her deposition testimony in which she appeared to minimize any actions that Kris Jenner and her three co-defendant daughters had on her career, Chyna maintained she meant that the four did nothing outwardly hostile.
“Everything to my face was all good,” Chyna said. “I now know what they did to me behind my back.”
She said the many unflattering social media portrayals of her impact her business opportunities, but that the Kardashians and Jenners have nothing to do with those attacks.
Chyna said she still has some contact with Rob Kardashian, such as when he suggested within the last two weeks that their daughter, Dream, who is now 5 years old, appear in an Amazon commercial with Kris Jenner with $50,000 to be deposited in an account for the child.
Asked by Rhodes about the appearance of suing Kris Jenner at the same time the Kardashian family matriarch is trying to help the plaintiff’s daughter with her financial future, Chyna replied, “Yes, that’s a nice thing to do for her granddaughter.”
PREVIOUSLY on April 20: In a turn of events that may be good for business but bad for family relations, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Kris Jenner were in court today as testimony began in Blac Chyna’s lawsuit against them. The lawsuit, brought in November 2017, alleges defamation and interference with prospective economic advantage.
Specifically, Chyna is claiming that the Jenner-Kardashians lied about Chyna assaulting Rob Kardashian when speaking to E! executives in order to scuttle a second season of Rob & Chyna, the 2016 reality show that featured the Kardashian scion and his fiancée, who were about to have a baby together. A second season was announced on December 17, 2016, but never aired after the couple split in early 2017.
Defense attorney Michael G. Rhodes said E! chose not to go forward with the second season of Rob & Chyna because the Chyna-Rob Kardashian relationship went “off the rails,” resulting in Chyna assaulting Rob Kardashian in Kylie Jenner’s Hidden Hills home in December 2016, including putting a phone cord around his neck and pointing a gun — likely unloaded — at his head.
In July 2017, Chyna asked for and received a temporary restraining order against her former fiancé, making it all but impossible for the show to proceed, according to Rhodes.
All attempts by E! executives to mend the relationship and have the couple go to a retreat so the show could continue were unfruitful, said Rhodes. While the Kardashians and Jenners may have said some things that were unflattering to Chyna, he maintained they were rightfully upset about what they believed she had done to their brother and son. The four acted to “protect someone they loved,” according to Rhodes.
The Kardashian lawyer maintained — and the prosecution disputes — that Chyna willingly accepted $100,000 to allow the second season of Rob & Chyna to be terminated even after filming had begun.
The airing of dirty laundry in court comes just one week after the Kardashian clan launched the newest show documenting their lives, The Kardashians, on Hulu. While some of the drama between Rob Kardashian and his former fiancée was featured in the couple’s eponymous show and also E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians, it is unclear how much of the current tumult will appear on Hulu.
If there is one certainty in the world of reality TV, however, it is that all publicity is good publicity.
Blac Chyna testified today that Rob Kardashian’s jealousy led to an argument and false allegations she physically abused him one night in late 2016
Kardashian sued Chyna in September 2017, alleging she tried to strangle him with a phone charging cord and twice pointed a gun at his head, threatening to kill him one night. Kardashian, 34, dropped the case in February, saying he was doing so for the sake of the former couple’s daughter.
Chyna testified today that Rob owned the gun and that, one night in December 2016, she took it from a dresser. Although she said it was unloaded, she did not say if she pointed it at Kardashian. She admitted that she handled the weapon, but claimed she was “being silly” while on FaceTime with some of Rob Kardashian’s friends and that no one was alarmed by her actions with the weapon.
Chyna also implied she did not want to harm her fiancé with the phone cord, which she said she jokingly placing around his neck.
Chyna said her contract for the 2016 reality show paid her $92,500 for each of the six episodes and that her child [from a previous relationship] was also paid for appearing. She said she and Rob Kardashian celebrated when they found out that the way was cleared for a second season of the show, although defense attorney Michael G.
Rhodes said during opening statements that the approval was only preliminary.
Kim Kardashian, sitting in the front row of the courtroom with her mother and two sisters, took notes on a yellow legal pad while listening to Chyna’s testimony.
In February 2020, Judge Randolph M. Hammock severed from the current suit a revenge porn claim Chyna has made against Rob Kardashian. He directed that it be tried separately. The claim involves what Chyna’s court papers call “humiliating and degrading” photos that Rob Kardashian allegedly posted of Chyna in July 2017. A separate jury will hear that case after the conclusion of the current proceedings.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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