First Amendment

Gilbert Arenas’ Tweets Help Doom His Legal Bid to Block 'Basketball Wives'

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Orlando Magic basketball star Gilbert Arenas has failed to obtain a preliminary injunction to block the airing of Basketball Wives Los Angeles, set to air for the first time on Monday.

Arenas’ enthusiasm for Twitter helped doom his contention that his private life wasn’t a matter of public concern, according to the Yahoo Sports blog and the Hollywood Reporter. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee of Los Angeles noted Arenas’ “mundane” tweets about his private life when she ruled against him this week.

Arenas had sought an injunction based on his claims of trademark infringement and misappropriation of likeness. His former girlfriend, Laura Govan, will appear on the show produced by Shed Media.

Gee called Arenas’ trademark claim “muddled” and said it “fails to articulate a coherent theory of infringement.”

Gee also found that the show was protected by the First Amendment, defeating the misappropriation claim, for two reasons. First, the value of Basketball Wives isn’t derived from celebrity fame. “At its core, the show is about the women who have or have had relationships with basketball players rather than the players themselves,” she wrote.

Second, she said, the show deserved First Amendment protection because it covered a matter of public concern. Arenas had contended a discussion of his family life wasn’t sufficiently related to his celebrity to make his identity a matter of public concern. Gee didn’t see it that way. “This contention is belied by the tens of thousands of Twitter users who follow Arenas as he tweets about a variety of mundane occurrences,” she wrote.

Gee included an Arenas tweet of the mundane variety: “Dont u hate waking up doing the same thing .. wash face .. brush teeth .. pee .. take shower (well sum of us) … put on clothes … eat … etc,” it read.

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