Janice Dickinson has come up empty in her bid to sue Ryan Seacrest Enterprises and NBC Universal over her appearance on the Bravo reality show “Shahs of Sunset.”
There is a silver lining for Dickinson, as federal judge George H. Wu said in court papers on Wednesday that she can file an amended complaint by Oct. 24.
Dickinson filed her suit in March, saying that she was tricked into appearing on the show and falsely painted as a villain on the episode.
Dickinson said in her suit that she regularly appeared as a runway model for designer Erik Rosette during Los Angeles Fashion Week for free, to promote Rosette’s charitable efforts.
According to the complaint, Rosette knew that she wouldn’t appear pro bono if the designer was “planning to exploit Dickinson’s celebrity without her consent by, for example, facilitating a reality television show’s exploitation of Dickinson’s celebrity.”
However, the suit said, in the fall of 2016 Dickinson again agreed to model, and Rosette arranged for Dickinson’s appearance, without her knowledge or consent, on an episode of “Shahs of Sunset.”
Moreover, the suit alleged, the defendants conspired “to script an episode of ‘Shahs’ to include a false controversy” that “would make it appear that Dickinson had intentionally ‘stolen’ or essentially bullied her way into wearing an outfit which had been purported previously selected for or by [‘Shahs’ star] Golnesa Gharachedaghi,” prompting Gharachedaghi to “intentionally, maliciously and falsely disparage Plaintiff on camera (but without Plaintiff’s knowledge during photography).”
Dickinson added that she learned of the situation after the show aired last year, and when she confronted the defendants about it, she was sent a forged release that she purportedly signed.
However, in a tentative ruling earlier this week that has since been made final, the judge dismissed Dickinson’s claims without prejudice, allowing he amend her complaint.
“The Court would find that the inclusion of Plaintiff’s likeness, image, and name in the Episode, even if included without her consent, bore artistic relevance above zero. From the Court’s review of the Episode, part of the Episode focused on the Los Angeles Fashion Show, and a significant sub-plot of the Episode included the narrative that Plaintiff stole the romper earmarked for Gharachedaghi,” the tentative ruling read. “Because of Plaintiff’s role in that narrative, false or not, the use of Plaintiff’s name and likeness are artistically relevant to the Episode.”
The tentative ruling further found that Dickinson’s First Amended Complaint did “not adequately allege that the use of Plaintiff’s name, image, and likeness ‘would confuse [consumers] into thinking that [Plaintiff] is somehow behind [the Episode] or that [Plaintiff] sponsors [Defendants’] product . . . there [is no] explicit indication, overt claim, or explicit misstatement that caused such consumer confusion.'”
Reps for Dickinson, NBC Universal and Ryan Seacrest Enterprises did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the decision.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.