While the Kardashians are at the Met Gala, a jury reached a verdict in Blac Chyna’s $100 million defamation case against the famous family — and they won.
The Kardashians came out victorious with no damages awarded to Chyna. The jury found that none of the Kardashians defamed Chyna and none interfered with her E! contract, AP reports. Chyna had claimed that the famous family convinced the network to cancel her reality show, “Rob & Chyna,” in which she co-starred with Rob Kardashian.
Chyna — a model and influencer, who is Rob Kardashian’s ex-fiancé and the mother to his 5-year-old daughter, Dream — sued the Kardashian family, alleging they ruined her reality TV career.
“Rob & Chyna” aired for one season at E! in 2016. The show was at the center of Chyna’s lawsuit, which alleged that the series was canceled after its first season because the Kardashian family falsely told producers and network executives that Chyna violently attacked Rob Kardashian in December 2016. During the trial, the Kardashians and E! executives said that even though filming might have been continuous, the show was never technically greenlit for a second season, so there was nothing to cancel.
On one hand, Chyna claimed that Kris Jenner was the ringleader of a master plan in which the Kardashian-Jenners used their power to force E! to axe the reality show. But on the other hand, the family and executives from the series said it ended because the couple had broken up, which was the entire premise of the show — essentially, “Rob & Chyna” could not continue without Rob and Chyna.
With deliberations spanning two days, the jury found that the Kardashians “often acted in bad faith on the issues brought up in the case,” per the AP, which writes “that it had no substantial effect on Chyna’s contract or the fate of the show.”
Text messages and emails were shown as evidence throughout the 10-day trial, depicting the Kardashians speaking negatively about Chyna and telling E! that they might stop filming their flagship hit, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” if Chyna was involved. One text from Khloé Kardashian said, “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.” However, when Kris Jenner testified, she said that she did not have the power to “influence” the network on any cancellation.
The Kardashian-Jenners sat in the front row at the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse on most days. The trial was relatively low-key and generated only a moderate level of attention, compared to other legal media spectacles — especially considering the paparazzi magnets that are the defendants, Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, who all testified. The trial also brought producers and execs in the reality television space to the stand, including a virtual testimony from Ryan Seacrest, who produced the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” franchise. Even Pete Davidson showed up to court one day to support his girlfriend, Kim.
The case revolved around Chyna’s 2017 lawsuit, which alleged Rob Kardashian was abusive and that the Kardashian-Jenners were responsible for the cancellation of the former couple’s short-lived show. Chyna sued the entire family over claims of defamation, assault, battery, domestic violence and interference with prospective economic relations. That same year, the family responded to the claims with their own lawsuit, alleging that Chyna was the one who attacked Rob Kardashian.
Last week, Rob Kardashian took the stand to testify about the alleged abuse he endured from his ex-fianceé. A volatile fight in December 2016 emerged as the key event that led to the end of “Rob & Chyna,” during which Chyna allegedly choked Rob with a phone cord, held a gun up to his head and hit him with a metal pole. “She strangled me, she put a gun to my head twice, she was on cocaine and alcohol,” Rob said in court. When Chyna testified, she told the jury that she was just being “silly” and that holding the gun was a “joke.”
The Kardashians had filed to dismiss all of Chyna’s claims with the family’s attorney, Michael G. Rhodes, saying her claims “were absurd because there was no documentary evidence, economic analysis, or expert testimony that would support them.” The judge threw out one of Chyna’s claims against Kim Kardashian for defamation, ruling that Chyna’s attorney, Lynne Ciani, did not provide any statement during the trial that proved Kim Kardashian was defamatory towards Chyna. But still, the other claims remained for the jury to deliberate on, including claims for interference with a contract against Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Khloé Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, plus defamation claims against the latter three stars.