A lawsuit by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West over leaked footage of their marriage proposal can proceed because it does not violate the free speech rights of the co-founder of YouTube, a judge ruled Tuesday.
The ruling came as Superior Court Judge Ruth Ann Kwan rejected a motion by tech entrepreneur Chad Hurley seeking dismissal of the case against him on constitutional grounds.
Hurley was sued days after posting a 2 1/2 minute video of West’s over-the-top proposal to Kardashian in October on his new video-sharing website MixBit. Their court filings have stated the video pre-empted the official release of footage by E! Entertainment Television.
West and Kardashian claim Hurley violated a confidentiality agreement and may have infringed the rights of the producers of the reality series, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” who filmed the proposal at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.
The lawsuit states that Hurley wasn’t invited to the event and accompanied another guest. Kardashian’s mother Kris Jenner wrote in a sworn statement that Hurley would have been kicked out of the event if he hadn’t signed the confidentiality agreement.
Hurley eventually removed the video from MixBit.
The footage showed West proposing to Kardashian while an orchestra played and the ensuing celebration with Kardashian’s family and invited guests toasting the newly engaged couple.
Hurley contends he posted his footage only after seeing pictures and congratulatory messages from celebrities online.
The ruling was praised by Eric George, an attorney representing the celebrity couple. “We’re very confident going in to the next phase of this case,” George said.
Hurley’s lawyer Rodger Cole said he was disappointed by the ruling and planned to appeal.
“We still believe Mr. Hurley’s conduct should be protected by the First Amendment free speech rights,” Cole said. “We do not believe the celebrity release agreement should preclude him from posting the video he posted.”
West and Kardashian are seeking unspecified damages.
A trial on the case is scheduled for Nov. 17.
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