Thursday, July 31, 2008

Judge Sticks to Tentative Ruling in Lowe Nannygate Case

Six attorneys showed up for the hearing in Santa Barbara Superior Court on Thursday morning, three from each side, but only one for each side was able to argue their respective motions.

Attorney Gloria Allred with her client nanny Jessica Gibson outside of court after Thursday morning's hearing.

When it was all said and done, Jessica Gibson's accusations of sexual harassment against actor Rob Lowe remain intact as do Lowe and his wife's claims against Gibson for breaching a confidentiality agreement she allegedly had with them.

Dismissed though are claims by the Lowes that Gibson defamed them, inflicted emotional distress or abused the process of the court in suing them.

Gibson's claim against the Lowes that they retaliated against her in the form of bringing their original lawsuit was also dismissed by the judge.

A surprising presence in the courtroom for the hearing was Gibson's attorney Gloria Allred. Although she didn't actually argue the case (she left that to her co-counsel John West) she did sit at the counsel table and take notes on her laptop.

But after the proceedings were over, Allred did almost all of talking outside the courtroom in an interview with

Allred told me that she was expecting more media to be present to cover the hearing but had learned shortly before that they had been diverted to a probate court hearing involving Brittany Spears in L.A.

Also present for the hearing was Gibson herself, who at one point while listening to the arguments of the Lowes' attorney Stanton Stein, rested her head on the shoulder of her father Jim Gibson who was seated next to her.

Neither Rob Lowe or his wife Sheryl were present.

When she called the case for argument this morning Judge Denise deBellefeuille announced it as "Rob Lowe vs. Jessica Simpson." I immediately thought to myself, "he sued her too?"

None of the six attorneys including Santa Barbara lawyers Jim Cordes who is co-counsel for Gibson and David Nye, who is co-counsel for Lowe, bothered to point out the malapropism to her honor.

So each side's case against the other will proceed to trial. The next court date is November 20 for a case management hearing.

In the meantime, Allred told me that she hopes to schedule a videotaped deposition of the Lowes. She had originally had a date in May for the depo but it had to be postponed.

So, it looks like "celebrity justice" will live to see another day in Santa Barbara.