Rebecca Gayheart, "McSteamy" Eric Dane, Get Gawker Settlement Over Threesome Video
NEW YORK (CBS) The legal battle between Gawker and actors Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart has been settled after the website agreed to take down the couple's homemade sex tape in return for them not suing the bejeezuz out of the gossip blog.
The Grey's Anatomy star and his wife had sued Gawker in September for copyright infringement, after their threesome web video leaked to the internet, showing Dane, Gayheart and former beauty queen Kari Ann Peniche romping around naked and at times barely coherent.
The lawsuit claimed that Gawker "maliciously" distributed an uncensored version of the sex tape and refused to comply with a cease and desist order.
According to Reuters, Gawker and the couple agreed to private mediation, which facilitated a settlement that was filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court last week. Sources close to the case valued the settlement in the low-six figures.
Dane and Gayheart were originally asking for more than $1 million in damages.
"Although we are confident that our use of the video on Gawker was protected fair use -- because the posts already had been available to our readers for nearly a year, and because we already had won an important decision from the court striking large parts of the plaintiffs' damages claims -- we agreed to remove the posts as part of a global settlement to avoid the burden of further litigation," Gawker chief operating officer Gaby Darbyshire said in a statement obtained by Reuters.
Dane first appeared in ABC's highly rated show, "Grey's Anatomy," in 2005, in which he played Dr. Mark Sloan, also known as McSteamy. His popularity with fans led to a regular role on the show.
Gayheart is a television and film actress known for roles in "CSI: Miami," "Nip/Tuck," and "Vanished." She also had a recurring role in the original Beverly Hills 90210 series.
Peniche is a former beauty queen who won Miss United States Teen, but was stripped of her title after appearing nude in Playboy.
At one point in the video, Gayheart, who seems to be holding the camera, says "I need to lay down too. I am very high." She then joins a naked Peniche, who was lounging on the bed.
Gawker had released a 12-minute edited version of the video in which everyone's lower private parts are blurred over. Other sites have been more revealing.
MORE ON CRIMESIDER
August 21, 2009 - Who is Kari Ann Peniche, the Other Woman in "McSteamy" Naked Web Vid?
August 17, 2009 - Report: Cops Looking at Grey's Anatomy Star Eric Dane's Naked Threesome Video; Are You?
September 20, 2009 - Mackenzie Phillips and John Phillips: Incest and Drugs Bombshell
- Hung jury reportedly emotional at Jodi Arias trial
- Hung jury in Arias penalty phase, new panel to be chosen
- Kaitlyn Hunt: "I'm scared of losing the rest of my life..."
- Woman guilty of stabbing fiance to death on wedding day
- Kaitlyn Hunt rejects plea deal in underage sex case
- Investigator: Missing Iowa teen's blood found
- Cops: Pa. couple stabbed each other over "American Idol"
- Missing Univ. of Rhode Island student found safe
- Jury foreman: Jodi Arias "not a good witness"
- Plea deadline is today for Fla. teen Kaitlyn Hunt
- Swim coach Richard Curl gets 7 years for sex abuse
- Atty: Charges will not be dropped in Kaitlyn Hunt case
- Fla. man accidentally calls 911 and reveals murder plan
- Police: Boston math tutor also meth trafficker
- Iowa kidnapping suspect probed in cousins' 2012 deaths
- N.J. cop accused of firebombing supervisor's home