Trials & Litigation

Radio Host in Contempt Case Urges Fans to E-Mail Court; Federal Judge Is Not Pleased

  • Print

Updated: Facing a new ruling from U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman, after a federal appeals court instructed him to reconsider an earlier $37.6 million contempt sanction, infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau apparently thought the judge might take note of praise from his fans for his books.

And Gettleman clearly did. Finding his court e-mail and BlackBerry flooded with hundreds of messages sent in response to a blog post yesterday by the syndicated radio talk show host, the judge addressed what he described as e-mail harassment by threatening to have marshals come and get Trudeau if he didn’t appear at an emergency hearing today, according to the Associated Press.

Then, when Trudeau did appear, the judge held him in criminal contempt and required him to surrender his passport and post $50,000 bond, the news agency recounts.

The deluge of messages disabled his computer and BlackBerry, according to Gettleman, and will force the U.S. Marshals Service to perform a threat assessment.

“The penalty I will impose will probably include some custody and a fine,” the calm, soft-spoken Gettleman said at in today’s hearing in Chicago, although he apparently hasn’t yet decided what, exactly, that penalty will be. (As a subsequent post details, the judge did give Trudeau 30 days of contempt time.)

Meanwhile, Trudeau has made a new post on his Kevin Trudeau Show blog, apologizing for the mistake and urging fans not to e-mail Gettleman again.

The earlier $37.6 million contempt fine concerned Trudeau’s long-running battle with the Federal Trade Commission over health claims in ads for his books.

Hat tip: Chicagoland Radio and Media.

Updated on Feb. 17 to link to and accord with subsequent post about the case.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.