Ex-Husband Sues Pia Zadora for Defamation

This just in from the Talent-Free Zone (RadarOnline, 6/7/10). It seems that Pia Zadora, who is often identified as an “actress,” is being sued by her ex-husband for various things, most notably defamation.

I’ve always marvelled at Pia Zadora. She’s always struck me as one of those amazing people who are famous for being famous. Has she ever done anything remotely noteworthy? Years ago, she had a bit part in the John Waters movie “Hairspray,” which places her well behind such Waters luminaries as Divine and Mink Stole in the “accomplishments” department. But beyond that I can’t think of a thing she’s actually – you know – done. OK her part in “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” was a pretty big deal, but…

Well, it seems she once married a wealthy Israeli which certainly improved her bank account. And that’s a good thing because it looks like she’ll need every penny of it.

Another ex-husband, Jonathan Kaufer, is suing her for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, etc. That’s because, according to his lawsuit, Zadora has gone on a multi-year binge of parental alienation and outright lying to anyone and everyone. In a nutshell, she’s told friends, police, various medical personnel and CPS employees that Kaufer sexually abused their son. That’s not all she’s done, according to the lawsuit, but it’s the main thing. Apparently, Zadora’s claims have all been investigated and found to be baseless. The couple divorced in 2001.

Now, of course Kaufer’s allegations are, at this point, nothing more than that, but they do have the ring of truth if only because they’re so common in custody battles. As countless lawyers have said countless times, allegations of domestic violence and sexual abuse are routinely made in custody cases to gain an advantage.

But Kaufer and Zadora’s custody case was decided years ago. What Zadora seems to have been doing is trying to cut Kaufer out of his son’s life totally and permanently. His visitation rights seem to have been too much for her to tolerate.

All of which is to remind people that the civil courts are there to provide damages for the type of outrageous and wrongful actions we so often see in custody matters. False allegations aren’t a free shot. They can amount to libel, slander and defamation among other things. In Kaufer’s case, his ex is likely worth a fair chunk of change, so she’ll be able to satisfy any judgment against her. Admittedly, that’s not true of every false accuser.

One caveat. Statements made in the course of litigation are generally not actionable as libel or slander. That is, allegations in pleadings generally can’t be made the subject of a suit for libel, slander, defamation, etc. But false allegations made to police, CPS, doctors, etc., can be, as can lying under oath. Kaufer is suing her for those things, and we’ll see how it goes.

But anyone who’s been the victim of false allegations of the type Kaufer claims Zadora made should march right down to civil court. You don’t have to wait for a reluctant prosecutor to act; you can do it yourself.

Thanks to John for the heads-up.

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