A Los Angeles jury has given a sweeping win to the Kardashian family in former reality TV star Blac Chyna’s lawsuit against them, finding that none of the Kardashians had defamed Chyna, nor did they interfere with her contract by convincing the E! network to cancel her show Rob & Chyna.
The four Kardashian defendants Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Khloé Kardashian and Kylie Jenner attended nearly the entire trial, but when the verdict was read all were in New York at the Met Gala.
Chyna was in court for the verdict. She had no visible reaction.
After about 10 hours of deliberations, the jurors decided on the long jury form that the Kardashians often acted in bad faith, finding that they were not justified in telling the executives and producers of Rob & Chyna that Chyna physically abused their brother and son, Rob Kardashian. But they found that it had no substantial effect on Chyna’s contract or the fate of the show, and she was awarded no damages.
Executives from the E! network, which aired the show, testified that Rob & Chyna ended because the relationship ended, not because of the defendants’ actions.
The Kardashian’s attorney, Michael G Rhodes, said the family was “exuberant” and “very pleased” when he called them with the news.
Chyna’s attorney, Lynne Ciani, said that she would appeal the finding.
The jury was twice sent back to deliberate further when it was found that on some questions in the case against Kylie Jenner the vote had been eight to four when at least nine to three was required in the civil case, but they quickly returned with nine to three votes and the result remained unchanged.
Jurors were considering the defamation case against Kris Jenner, Khloé Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, after a judge threw out the part of the lawsuit against Kim Kardashian in the middle of deliberations.
All four of the women testified during the nine-day trial.
The trial focused largely on allegations that Chyna violently attacked her then fiance and reality TV co-star, Rob Kardashian, in December 2016. He testified that she twice held a gun to his head, wrapped a phone-charging cord around his neck and beat him with a metal rod.
She testified that she had put the cord around his neck and held the gun playfully as the two celebrated the renewal of their reality show, and when the celebration turned into a dispute, she was never violent against him.
It had appeared during the trial that Kris Jenner’s longtime boyfriend, Corey Gamble, who arrived at the scene and broke up the dispute, would prove to be the key witness for the defence. But the television executives and producers whose testimony was often technical, and utterly without drama, would prove more important in the jury’s findings, which rendered the women’s stories of abuse largely irrelevant.
Chyna had sought as much as $108m in the five-year-old lawsuit. A punitive damages phase that would have been triggered by a plaintiff victory will not happen now.
Separate allegations of revenge porn against Rob Kardashian, accused of posting three naked photos of Chyna on Instagram after their breakup, were split into a separate trial that will probably begin in about a week.