Hollywood’s favorite Jewish divorce lawyer just landed another A-list client.
Angelina Jolie, who rocked the internet yesterday after TMZ announced her split with long-time partner Brad Pitt, has hired high-powered attorney Laura Wasser to represent her.
And for good reason, it seems. This definitely isn’t Wasser’s first ride around the high-profile divorce merry-go-round.
Here’s everything you need to know about tinseltown’s go-to attorney.
1) Her past client list reads like a who’s-who of Hollywood elite.
That roster includes: Jennifer Garner, Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears, Maria Shriver, Johnny Depp, Ashton Kutcher, and Ryan Reynolds.
2) Her services cost $850 per hour.
Yikes. No wonder, according to Bloomberg, she rarely represents anyone who earns less than $10 million.
4) Not every celebrity has been okay with that number.
“The Wassers thought I was someone like Tom Cruise, where I was so successful and so wealthy that their legal fees didn’t matter,” Alec Baldwin said. “Well, I’m not Tom Cruise. I don’t have his money.”
5) Her first high-profile client Stevie Wonder.
Wasser represented Wonder in a $30 million palimony suit filed by his girlfriend.
6) Don’t confuse handling a divorce with handling emotions.
“I tell them that a) your therapist costs less than I do, and b) what do I know? I’ve got two kids with two different dads, I’m not the person to give you relationship advice.” Wasser told Dame Magazine.
7) Her clients like that she’s tech-savy.
“I…text a lot, which is good for a lot of my younger clients, especially the athletes,” she sayid. “Athletes are big texters, for some reason.”
8) Wasser will refuse a case if she feels like her potential client is just out to get their spouse.
“If a client wants to go public with things that I think are detrimental to the whole family. I’ll say, “I get it, it’s strategic, but in the long run, your kids can read, and it’s not going to help you,” she said. “I don’t feel comfortable when the desire to ruin the other person is so great.
Thea Glassman is a Multimedia Fellow at the Forward. Reach her at email@example.com or on Twitter at @theakglassman.
I don’t recall ever feeling as angry as I was after seeing “The Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” the blistering gut-wrenching must-see film by writer/directors Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz.
Warmly ensconced at The Regency Hotel during one of New York’s recent snow-ins, the Elkabetz siblings alternated in answering my questions about the film’s heroine Viviane’s (Ronit ) attempt to divorce her husband Elisha (Simon Abkarian) following a 20-year untenable and loveless marriage. Not sure who angered me more: the rakhnomes-lacking didactic religious judges in the claustrophobic courtroom or the neighbors and relatives who, in Rashomon style, proffer their spin on the couple’s marriage that should long ago have been aborted.
“There are over 450,000 still open cases in Israel – some wait for twenty years to be adjudicated,” Shlomi told me. “It covers the full spectrum – every woman in Israel, secular or Orthodox, has to go through it if married and registered in Israel… There is a sense of God is punishing mei… Women are treated like property.” Commenting on the image of the Israeli woman as modern, a kibbutznik, soldier, bikini-clad beach lounger? Shlomi said, “When it comes to divorce there seems to be a democratic mantra – a gett is a gett.”
“The idea was mine,” volunteered Ronit. “I wanted to understand, to research…. it disturbed me. We had an idea to follow this woman’s life through different stages between herself and the state (Israel). But the woman’s place in this community is to submit…not show her hair, be modest.” Watching the film’s years-long delay after delay without a verdict, I flashed back to the film “Shawshank Redemption” in which, like Vivian, Morgan Freeman is asked year after year if he has repented yet and, irrespective of his reply, is denied parole.
I asked actor/director/writer Ronit – whom I first met in the delightful Israeli film “The Band Visit” – about her change of wardrobe when toward the film’s end– after years and years of soul numbing denials by rabbi-judges – the black-clad Viviane appears in court sporting a blood red shawl and flaunting her below-waist long loose hair. The film’s stark courtroom, Ronit told me, was actually much nicer than those it was modeled after. “She had no more energy,” said Ronit. “The red clothing revitalized her, woke her up. But she did not know that on that day she would be accused of being unfaithful. Caught between two rabbis she forgets herself…. it was not a provocation! Gett denied!”
“The reactions are different from age to age,” said Shlomi. “For young people it’s an occasion for rethinking about marriage …and a gett…. The Rabbinic court is so strong and political, but,” he told me: “Three hundred rabbis will be watching the film…the first time in Israeli history [they will] discuss the issues. It’s extraordinary.”
A winner of more than seven 2014 film festival awards – and most recently a selection at the New York Jewish Film Festival– “Gett” opens on February 13 at Lincoln Plaza Cinema and other area theatres. Go! Applaud Ronit, tsk, tsk the judges and hiss her husband.
(Reuters) — Sarah Jessica Parker has officially signed onto star in and exec produce HBO’s comedy pilot, “Divorce,” making her return to the net after “Sex And The City.”
HBO has given a formal pilot order to the project, which will also star Thomas Haden Church, Molly Shannon and Talia Balsam, Variety has learned.
The half-hour comedy is described as the story of a very, very drawn-out divorce. The “Sex And The City” star will play one half of the divorced couple, Frances, a woman who suddenly reassesses her life and marriage and realizes that a fresh start is much harder than she thought.
Church will star as Parker’s on-screen husband, Robert who’s caught off guard by his wife’s perspective on their marriage.
Taye Diggs has taken ex-wife Idina Menzel’s “Frozen” advice and “Let It Go.” In an interview with Redbook, the Broadway actor opens up about the couple’s decision to divorce back in December.
I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times when I thought, Oh, man, people are going to trip out [if we split]. Maybe they thought it was cute that we met in Rent. There weren’t a lot of couples like us in the theater community—and I know there aren’t a lot of performers as talented as she is… and then you have the whole mixed [race] thing. It was easy for people to root for us. Right now, we’re still trying to figure out a lot of stuff because we’re on different coasts and our son is getting older.
The couple met on the set of “Rent” in 1996, and married in 2003. Their son Walker was born in 2009. Per Redbook:
“Right now, we’re still trying to figure out a lot of stuff because we’re on different coasts and our son is getting older,” Diggs said. “The best is seeing the expression on his face when I pick him up from school. The way he says ‘Daddy,’ is unrivaled by anything.”
When your marriage hits splitsville, it’s perfectly understandable to need a friendly shoulder to cry on.
For Michael Douglas, who recently announced his split with actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, that shoulder belongs to 83-year-old billionaire George Soros.
Douglas and Zeta-Jones, together since 1999, announced in August that they were — to quote “Friends” — “on a break.” Since then, no papers have been filed and Jones is reportedly still sporting her wedding ring.
In any case, you gotta love a bromance. But according to the Huffington Post, Soros is getting married soon, so Douglas may have to find a new partner-in-crime to get him through his post-breakup ice cream binge.
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