Representing the gold mine-heiress Lauren “Beefeater” Reeves today, the Allred Maroko & Goldberg attorney was slapped down by Judge T.A. Greene when he whined about being called a criminal in a trial that is all about the state of comedy in the U.S.
It’s funny to watch Nathan Goldberg in L.A. Superior Court. He puffs up his chest, tries to put on his blockbuster movie trailer voice (“In a world where..”), and then stutters and flames out as he tries to string together words he must not believe. He also whines incessantly. Judge T.A. Greene is not amused by it. The avuncular old judge with the Beatles-like mop top admonishes the defendant Alki David gently when he gets emotional, but swats down Goldberg like he’s done with him.
Speaking of amused, the jury decidedly is amused with Mr. David, who despite being “disgusted with this criminality” as he said today, keeps the crowd laughing. He got several full crack ups today in his responses to Goldberg’s meandering attempts to trip him up on minor details by making the courtroom sit through old deposition footage.
At one point after the jury had laughed at a string of his asides, Alki David said to Goldberg, “You went down the wrong road, bro.”
At the heart of the case is comedy itself. FilmOn’s TV productions at the time were raucous and irreverent–not unlike the Howard Stern show or any number of late night television shows. The most extreme shows were under the BattleCam brand which had a rabid fan base called BattleCamers. (The history of the programming is spoofed in the mockumentary Lord of the Freaks from 2015, a film whose premiere the plaintiff walked the red carpet at).
Lauren Reeves, who is the daughter of gold mine owners in Alaska, and who testified drinks a bottle of Beefeater’s gin a day, was assigned to create content for FilmOn. At the time of her employment Alki David testified she was making as many off color jokes as anyone else in the office, and participating in the rambunctious office word play that was designed to bring out the right kind of humor in the content creators.
The reason Goldberg is bristling at being called a criminal is that it obviously hits close to home. FilmOn and Alki David had never been the subject of any complaints of any kind–much less of harassment–in its decade or so of existence. Then in one six month period a group of very tightly connected ex-employees conspired to bring suits, according to David, all with the urging of now-disgraced Harvey Weinstein beard Lisa Bloom and her mother Gloria Allred. (See “Celebrity Balls: How Allred Goldberg & Maroko Turned to Crime.”)
Alki David said, “I have employed thousands of people over the years and it’s only this small group of people” who have ever sued him.
Goldberg opened the day by attempting to impose a gag order on Alki David. It was long-winded, it was illogical. And in the end Judge Greene admonished him for wasting so much time. Goldberg sunk in his chair and his client Lauren “9G” Reeves looked down at him with a disgusted look.