The former E! president’s testimony about ‘Rob & Chyna’ convinced one juror to side with the Kardashian-Jenner family in their Blac Chyna defamation case
- A juror said the former E! president’s testimony won him over in Blac Chyna’s defamation suit.
- Juror Michael Dandurand told Insider the trial was “entertaining” but could have been more concise.
- Ultimately, he said the ending of “Rob & Chyna” reminded him of a Three Stooges episode.
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An alternate juror in Blac Chyna’s defamation case against the Kardashians said that former E! President Adam Stotsky’s testimony about the demise of the show “Rob & Chyna” reminded him of an episode of the Three Stooges.
Michael Dandurand, an alternate juror during the trial, spoke to Insider outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles immediately after the verdict was delivered Monday in favor of the Kardashian-Jenner family.
As one of four alternate jurors, Dandurand sat through all of the same evidentiary processes as the main jurors, and was present throughout the trial, including for the verdict. And although he didn’t end up replacing any main juror in the trial or contribute to the final verdict, his mind was made up by the end of the trial.
In particular, Dandurand was swayed by Stotsky’s comments about the lifespan of “Rob & Chyna.”
“Without Rob & Chyna the couple, there was no Rob & Chyna the show,” Stotsky told the court last week. “We couldn’t produce a show if there was no couple.”
Dandurand said he felt that he understood why the show couldn’t have run without a functioning couple. The logic reminded him of “an old documentary about the Three Stooges.”
Dandurand told Insider that in the documentary, the producers explain that the creators of the show kept trying to replace members of the Stooges who died with new members, and finally tried to unsuccessfully run with “Two Stooges.”
“The contract company said ‘we hired Three Stooges,’ and you’re not that if you only have two,” Dandurand remembered.
Dandurand added that the trial was “entertaining as a juror,” and said that Chyna’s case might have been more effective if she “was used as a character witness later on.”
“She definitely seems like she’s victimized, I think the issue for a lot of the people in the jury room was the actual E! contract. I personally think she may have a claim against someone else,” Dandurand told Insider.
During the trial, Kardashian attorney Michael G. Rhodes asked Chyna about her claim that the midseason cancellation had cost her tens of millions of dollars in future income during her 11 hours of testimony. In that line of questioning, he asked whether she had any bank accounts or recent tax statements to demonstrate her financial status.
“I don’t have any personal bank accounts,” Chyna answered, also admitting to the court that she hadn’t filed taxes for years.
A Los Angeles jury on Monday rejected defamation and contract-interference-damage claims against members of the Kardashian-Jenner family after nearly two days of deliberation. While the jury found that none of the Kardashian-Jenners were liable for any damages, jurors also conceded that some of the family members did interfere with Chyna’s economic opportunities.
Chyna, whose legal name is Angela White, was seeking $100 million in damages from Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian, and Kylie Jenner, alleging that they unfairly trash-talked her to E! executives five years ago following her split with Rob Kardashian and that it led to the cancellation of their “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” spin-off series, “Rob & Chyna.”
During the trial, Stotsky was one of several network and studio executives who testified. His testimony echoed the narratives shared by other executives and the Kardashian-Jenner family, who insisted that the toxic and volatile nature of the relationship was too much for TV.
“That kind of acrimony in a relationship, especially with a small child, was not something I wanted to be a part of,” Stotsky added. He also told jurors that shows are greenlit for another season but later canceled “all the time.”
He also explained that while the network had signed off on financial analyses for season 2, they never officially exercised their contractual option to move forward with the series. Finally, he said the famous family never twisted his arm to cancel the show.
“They don’t have the authority to actually do that,” Stotsky said.