LOS ANGELES – In new court papers, an attorney for Blac Chyna cites coronavirus concerns in arguing against consolidating Rob Kardashian’s assault and battery case against her client for trial with a related lawsuit the model/socialite filed against other members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan over cancellation of the “Rob & Chyna” show.
Chyna’s lawyer, Lynne M. Ciani, says in court papers filed Tuesday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gregory W. Alarcon that having both cases tried simultaneously would result in multiple attorneys being present and also would create a “three-ring circus” where it would not even be clear whether she and Chyna would sit on the plaintiff or defense side of the counsel table.
“All of these extra bodies at a consolidated trial would make social distancing at counsel tables impossible and, as a result, would increase the danger to court staff, the jury and gallery members of contracting COVID-19,” Ciani states in her court papers.
Rob Kardashian sued former fiancée Chyna, whose real name is Angela White, in September 2017, alleging that she committed domestic violence against him on Dec. 14, 2016, at the Hidden Hills home they shared and that belonged to Kylie Jenner. The case is currently set for trial Feb. 23.
In the related suit, Chyna sued Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian West, Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, alleging that they lied about Chyna assaulting Rob Kardashian when speaking to E! network executives in order to prevent Chyna from booking a second season of the former couple’s reality television show, “Rob & Chyna.” Trial of that case is scheduled April 15.
In February 2020, Judge Randolph M. Hammock severed from the related suit Chyna’s revenge porn claim against Rob Kardashian and directed that it be tried separately. The claim involves what Chyna’s court papers call “humiliating and degrading” photos that Rob Kardashian allegedly posted of Chyna in July 2017.
Ciani further argues in her court papers that Chyna’s defamation and intentional interference with contract case against the four Kardashian-Jenner clan members involves tens of thousands of business records, including intricate talent agreements from “Rob & Chyna” and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” as well as voluminous damages-related documents, plus witnesses from E!/NBCUniversal, Bunim Murray Productions and Ryan Seacrest Productions, among other companies.
“With very few exceptions, these business records and witnesses have nothing to do with plaintiff Rob Kardashian’s assault and battery case,” Ciani states in her court papers.
In her court papers, Rob Kardashian attorney Melissa Y. Lerner argues that consolidating the cases for trial makes sense.
“In both cases, the jury will be asked to decide whether or not it is true that Chyna assaulted Rob in December 2016, and both cases rise and fall on this factual determination,” Lerner states in her court papers. “This question should not be decided twice by two different juries, which could lead to inconsistent verdicts and, in any event, will waste precious judicial resources.”
Lerner also maintains in her court papers that having one trial would actually minimize the COVID-related health risks and also lessen the chance of having two inconsistent verdicts.
Whether a trial takes place of Rob Kardashian’s case against Chyna is dependent upon the judge’s ruling on a motion by Ciani to dismiss the case, set to be heard Feb. 9.
Chyna, 33, and Kardashian, 34, began dating in January 2016. They have a 5-year-old daughter, Dream Renee. The two broke up in the summer of 2017.