Celebrities in Court: Top Five Funniest Celebrity Depositions

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Celebrities are often involved in lawsuits, and whether they’re the target or the plaintiff, most have pretty high powered legal teams to protect them. But occasionally they’ll have to sit through depositions under oath. What comes out of these depositions can sometimes veer into comedic gold. Check out the top five funniest celebrity depositions in recent years:

5. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise is known for the “Mission Impossible” films, his adherence to Scientology, and that time that he jumped on Oprah’s couch and it was super weird.

In 2013, Cruise’s relationship with Katie Holmes hit the rocks. In the tabloid fall out that followed, two magazines–In Touch and Life & Style–claimed that he “abandoned” his daughter Suri. During the lawsuit, he gave a deposition in which he had some pretty fantastically weird quotes.

For example, he explained why it’s just so much more convenient to fly on private planes: “Generally its easier, yes … it does save – it does save time. Sometimes the flight itself is longer if you have, you know…but yeah, it’s better. It’s much more comfortable.”

There was also an exchange in which he compared his job and resulting absence from his daughter to fighting in Afghanistan:

Lawyer:  ‘Now, your counsel has publicly equated your absence from Suri for these extended periods of time as being analogous to someone fighting in Afghanistan.  Are you aware of that?’

Cruise:  ‘I didn’t hear the Afghanistan, but that’s what it feels like, and certainly on this last movie, it was brutal.  It was brutal.’

While it’s easy to respect that Cruise deeply missed his daughter, comparing his absence to shoot a movie to a soldier deployed in Afghanistan went way too far, and showed how out-of-touch the actor is.

4. Kanye West

In 2014, Kanye West was served with a lawsuit in which he was accused of beating a photographer and smashing the photographer’s camera. During the deposition, which was obtained by TMZ, he had some fantastic standout quotes.

One of the best, and most humble, was: “I’m the smartest celebrity you’ve ever f—— dealt with. I’m not Britney Spears.”

He also didn’t take too kindly to the questioning from the plaintiff’s attorney, stating:

I’m in the business of trying to make dope s— for the world.  You’re in the business of representing scums and trying to make as much money as long as there’s this lapse in the law.

3. Paula Deen

Everyone’s favorite racist chef Paula Deen had to give a deposition after she was sued by a woman named Lisa Jackson, who claimed that Deen subjected her to sexual harassment and racial discrimination. Top quotes from the deposition included when Deen exclaimed that “of course she’s used the N-word,” and then when asked about the context explained:

Well, then, tell me the other context in which you’ve used the N-word?
I don’t know, maybe in repeating something that was said to me.
Like a joke?
No, probably a conversation between blacks. I don’t — I don’t know.

She also explained the other kinds of totally PC jokes she tells saying:

Okay. Would you consider those to be using the N word in a mean way?
That’s — that’s kind of hard. Most — most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks. Most jokes target — I don’t know. I didn’t make up the joke, I don’t know. I can’t — I don’t know.
They usually target, though, a group. Gays or straights, black, redneck, you know, I just don’t know — I just don’t know what to say. I can’t, myself, determine what offends another person.

She also described a wedding she had attended in which the servers were all black men in suits as a “really southern plantation style wedding.”

While the lawsuit was eventually settled, Deen certainly didn’t come across as a bastion of acceptance.

2. Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne got into a legal battle with Quincy Jones III over the film “The Carter,” which was a look at Lil Wayne’s life. During Lil Wayne’s deposition during a countersuit, it was clear he wasn’t taking the whole matter too seriously. A section of the deposition is below:

If you don’t want to watch the whole video, top quotes include when Lil Wayne didn’t like the lawyer questioning him very much:

Lil Wayne: “What’s his name?” [referring to the lawyer]
Judge: “Pete Ross.”
Lil Wayne: “Pete Ross, that’s a stupid-ass question.”

He also consistently made no sense:

Lil Wayne: “[The judge] can’t save you.”
Lawyer: “What does that mean?”
Lil Wayne: “I was talking to myself.”

And generally gave some fantastic answers:

Lil Wayne: “How would I describe my image in the media? I wouldn’t describe it.”
Lawyer: “Well, how would you describe it if you had to?”
Lil Wayne: “I don’t have to.”

Lil Wayne ended up losing over $2 million to Jones as the result of the countersuit.

1. Justin Bieber

The winner of the funniest celebrity deposition, however, is Justin Bieber himself. He was sued in 2014 after his bodyguard allegedly beat up a photographer.

Bieber comes across as a supreme asshole, and the video is definitely worth a watch, but if you don’t get a chance, here are some of the better quotes. Both Usher and Australia seem oddly difficult concepts for Bieber to understand.

Photographer’s lawyer: Do you know Raymond Usher IV?
Bieber: No.
Photographer’s lawyer: Do you know an individual in entertainment by the name of Usher?
Bieber: Yeah. Usher. That sounds familiar.

Photographer’s lawyer: Do you remember being in Australia, ever?
Bieber: I don’t know if I been to Australia. [turns to his counsel] I been to Australia?

Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at amahoney@LawStreetMedia.com.



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