Posted: Thursday, March 2, 2017 – 2:07 PM
(CNS) – A judge Thursday dismissed the invasion-of-privacy claims that were part of a lawsuit filed by the father of celebrity models Gigi and Bella Hadid against a man who once worked as the plaintiff’s driver.
The ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Marc Marmaro eliminates half of the four claims in Mohamed Hadid’s lawsuit against Juan Carlos Gonzalez.
Hadid, 68, sued Gonzalez in December 2015, alleging the defendant took copies of business records in addition to 2,200 photos, including images of the real estate magnate’s daughters when they were minors, as well as shots of family members with Michael Jackson.
The Hadid suit states that Gonzalez worked at Hadid’s home from 2010-13 and had access to the plaintiff’s home office.
Along with the privacy claims, Hadid also sued for theft and for recovery of the allegedly stolen property.
Gonzalez’s attorneys then filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on grounds his taking of the business records involved protected activity because they were produced and used in the separate wage-and-hour lawsuit Gonzalez filed against Hadid in April 2014.
Gonzalez maintained he worked as many as 30 to 40 hours of overtime a week, but was paid at a regular rather than an overtime rate for the additional hours.
After a non-jury trial, Judge Michael Johnson in October awarded Gonzalez $273,630 in damages, plus attorneys’ fees and costs, all adding up to $576,265.
Marmaro, the judge in Hadid’s suit against his former driver, agreed with Gonzalez’s attorneys that the plaintiff’s privacy claims were barred by the litigation privilege. He said Hadid’s lawyers did not convince him that the privilege was overcome by the exception for criminal conduct.
However, the judge said the other causes of action will remain in the suit because a jury should decide whether Gonzalez intended to misappropriate the materials.
Hadid is described in the lawsuit as one of Los Angeles leading real estate developers. He was featured on the reality television shows “Shahs of Sunset” and “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
Hadid’s ex-spouse, Yolanda Foster, was a model and actress in “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” The Hadids’ daughter, Gigi Hadid, 21, was featured in Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue in 2014.
Her sister, 20-year-old Bella Hadid, was voted “Model of the Year” for Model.com’s Model of the Year 2016 Awards.