Believe it or not, more celebrity credit card drama has unfolded overnight. Sonja Norwood, mother of singer/actress Brandy, filed a lawsuit Feb. 4, 2008, in the L.A. County Superior Court against the Kardashian family for credit card misuse.
The Kardashians are best known for their patriarch, Robert, who was a lawyer for former NFL player O.J. Simpson during his notorious murder trial. Robert died of cancer in September 2003, but his remaining family members (three daughters, a son and an ex-wife) are featured in a new E! Television show called “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”
Norwood’s lawsuit (found here — hat tip to TMZ.com) says 27-year-old Kim Kardashian, daughter of Robert, was a stylist for Brandy in 2004. As Brandy’s manager, Norwood gave Kardashian her AmEx to make one purchase on her behalf. Norwood said it was made clear that the card was to be returned after the one purchase. Instead of giving the card back, Kardashian allegedly kept it and shared it with her siblings. And between the four of them, ran up more than $120,000 in unauthorized credit card purchases in 2006 and 2007.
In a separate incident, Kim Kardashian was involved in a sex tape scandal with Brandy’s brother, R&B singer Ray J, and took legal action against Vivid Entertainment to prevent distribution in early 2007. Revenge, perhaps?
Kim Kardashian told People magazine that she and her siblings had Norwood’s permission to make the purchases, and that they have her signature on all items. Thousands of dollars of purchases were made with the card in Dash and Smooch, two stores owned by the Kardashians.
In the lawsuit, Norwood is asking for more than $825,000, which includes “consequential and incidental damages” and 10 percent interest per year. The defendants’ conduct “has caused and will continue to cause irreparable injury to Plaintiff, which injury will continue as long as Defendants continue to use Plaintff’s credit cards.”
My question: Why didn’t Norwood cancel the card when she realized it was being embezzled and couldn’t get it back? The above quote from the lawsuit seems to imply that the Kardashians still have access to Norwood’s AmEx. I don’t get it.
Lesson learned: Always, always, always check your credit card statements on a monthly basis (or weekly if you have online access), especially if you’ve lent it to someone. Even if you get the card back, the person may still have the credit card numbers. Monitor your account activity closely and try not to lend your card to anyone. If you detect any foul play, cancel the account and get a new one.