Jill Kelly Gets Temporary Restraining Order Against Penthouse

John Stuart
WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. — Attorneys for Jill Kelly have succeeded in getting a temporary restraining order against Penthouse Digital Media, seeking to prevent that firm from using her trademark name and her websites until the court decides which party owns them.

“The order restrained all parties including Penthouse and Jill Kelly from changing the status quo,” Robert J. Young, Kelly’s attorney, told XBIZ. “A preliminary injunction hearing is set for Dec. 18, whereby we’re going to duke it out and determine who actually owns these assets.”

Penthouse had purchased Jill Kelly Productions assets for $1.765 million at a bankruptcy court auction last April, but Kelly maintains that the trademark on her name and her websites, JillKelly.com and JillKellyStore.com, were not part of the transaction.

“That’s wonderful news for right now, because we felt Jill would have been irreparably harmed if somebody got control of her trademark, because then it could be altered,” Young said. “I’m very pleased with the results. I’m just disappointed that Penthouse, which pretends to be a magazine that honors women, is choosing to dishonor and disrespect this celebrity. She’s a good person and she deserves a lot more for what she’s done for the industry. If we have to fight, we’ll be successful for her.”

Young also told XBIZ that his client had rejected an earlier settlement offer tendered by Penthouse.

“The settlement offer they proposed was merely a token,” Young said. “Jill doesn’t have any confidence or trust in these people. The way they have conducted themselves, I have to agree with my client.”

Kelly originally offered her assets to XGen LLC, affiliated with Pleasure Productions and International Video Distributors, for an opening bid of $725,000, but Penthouse outbid them and made the purchase.

“The motion for that sale [to XGen] specifically excluded the rights that are being disputed today,” Young said. “As in all bankruptcy procedure, when the sale comes in, somebody can overbid and take away that sale for themselves. That’s what Penthouse did. They knew exactly what was being offered for sale. There was a specific exclusion that the debtor [Penthouse] doesn’t own the rights to her name or her websites.”

Penthouse claims that it bought Kelly’s name and websites with their purchase last April.

“It’s nonsense,” Penthouse CEO Marc Bell told XBIZ. “It was an asset of the bankruptcy. For $35, people can file anything.”