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Lohan&39;s videotaped deposition to be kept from public for now

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Lindsay Lohan's videotaped deposition in a lawsuit involving a car crash she was involved in will not be made public for now.

A three-justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal on Friday ordered Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael L. Stern to show why he should not reverse his decision to allow public distribution of the videotape and set a hearing for March 26.

Raymundo Ortega of Los Angeles sued Lohan for negligence on June 14, although authorities blamed him for the accident. The restaurant worker alleges the actress, now 21 but then 19, had been drinking when her black Mercedes-Benz convertible crashed into his van in West Hollywood two years ago. He wants at least 200,000 in damages.

According to Lohan's attorneys, the California Highway Patrol determined that Ortega caused the crash by making an illegal U-turn and there was no evidence Lohan was intoxicated.

Lohan's lawyers filed a petition for an appellate court writ after Stern denied their motion for a protective order preventing Ortega's attorneys from publicly disseminating the "videotape or other record of the deposition of Lindsay Lohan."

Lohan's court papers state the actress' deposition was scheduled for Dec. 3. Her attorney handling the appeal, Mark M. Williams, could not be immediately reached for comment on whether the deposition was completed.

Williams and the other Lohan attorneys also objected during the November hearing to any videotaping hr class"articleAdRule"div class"articleAdHeader"Advertisementdiv align"center" class"adElement"hr class"articleAdRule"divof Lohan's deposition, saying it would inevitably fall into the hands of the media, which they say has been relentless in its coverage of the case.

"If a single picture of Ms. Lohan can sell for thousands of dollars, a videotape of the deposition will undoubtedly sell for tens of thousands of dollars, or more," Lohan attorney David J. Ozeran wrote.

Since so many people would have access to the tape -- including the attorneys, their office staff and the videographer -- it would be nearly impossible to enforce an order preventing its distribution, Ozeran argued.

"Any one of these people could anonymously take the tape, have it copied and profit significantly by selling it," his motion stated.

According to Ozeran, the real purpose of videotaping the starlet is to "annoy Ms. Lohan and to attempt to gain a litigation advantage by causing her concern about the embarrassment of such a videotape."

Ozeran alleges Ortega is trying to extract a settlement from Lohan with the implied threat that adverse media coverage will cause harm to her career.

Ozeran noted that a similar motion filed on behalf of singer Britney Spears resulted in an Oct.

26 court order preventing her upcoming deposition by ex-husband Kevin Federline's lawyers in their child custody litigation from being videotaped.

However, Stern ruled the deposition could be videotaped.

The collision involving Lohan's black Mercedes-Benz SL65 and Ortega's van occurred about 5 p.m.

on Oct. 4, 2005, on Robertson Boulevard, just south of Beverly Boulevard, according to his lawsuit.

Ortega alleges the actress was looking over her shoulder instead of watching the road because she was sensitive to paparazzi and often drove recklessly after a May 2005 accident in which a photographer rammed her car.

In a four-page countersuit filed Oct. 11, Lohan's attorneys cite a California Highway Patrol report stating that Ortega was at fault for making an illegal U-turn.

The drunken driving allegation is untrue and not supported by the CHP report, according to Lohan's court papers.

Lohan's camp also maintains that Ortega and an unspecified number of defendants to be named later were "negligent in the ownership, operation, repairs and maintenance" of his van.

Lohan is asking for more than 75,000 in damages for the repair of her car and the cost of renting other vehicles.

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Article publication date: 14 Germinal Ray80 (20 Jan 2008)


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