The Kardashian sisters may have behaved badly at the party introducing their new prepaid debit card, as we reported in January. But making them responsible for $75 million in damages over the failure of an entire credit card company is going too far, and violates their freedom of speech, a California judge has ruled.
The sisters, who became famous on the reality TV show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” teamed up with California-based Revenue Resource Group to create a prepaid card with their faces on it. The card charged a $100 upfront fee, $1 every time consumers added money to the card, and $6 to cancel it.
Those fees drew outrage from many quarters, including an investigation from Connecticut attorney general’s office. Under fire, the Kardashians pulled out of the deal just 20 days after launching the card at a New York nightclub party.
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Almost immediately, Revenue Resource Group sued the sisters for breach of contract. Its lawyers argued that by dissing fans at the rollout party, pulling out of the contract, and distancing themselves from the card in blog and Twitter posts, the Kardashians caused the entire company to fail, at a loss of $75 million.
The Kardashians struck back with an anti-SLAPP motion, a rule in California that protects people’s Second Amendment rights when speaking about important public issues.
Fresno County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hamilton agreed with the sisters, according to hollywoodreporter.com. Hamilton dismissed the lawsuit, saying that Revenue Resource Group failed to prove that the company’s demise was caused by the Kardashians’ letter terminating the relationship.
“But it was not merely the Kardashian termination letter that did it—it was the onslaught of negative coverage before and after their statement about the fees and charges associated with the card. In other words, the product’s features themselves caused the problem once they became clearer to the public,” Hamilton wrote in his decision, according to Hollywoodreporter.com.
[Related Article: Short-Lived Kardashian Card's Impact on Other Cards' Fees]