of some legal issus
apology with a financial five-figure settlement
my February 4 Computer Chat column, I atempted to express
Uri Geller's colourful involvement in the paranormal with
what I intended to be an amusing and inofensive wordplay,
exchanging "psychotic" for "psychic".
I did not intend to suggest that he has any kind of a mental
disorder, and I offer my sincere apologies. I do in fact admire
his powers, I'll watch his law suit against Nintendo with
interest. I shall stick to what I know.
Apology from James Randi
had to instruct his publishers to place an erratum in his
book. The following are the misleading statements which I
found in Randi's book.
page 9: Seven lines from the bottom by using the words "brought
to court." this suggested that myself Uri Geller and
Shipi Shtrang were physically taken to court, which was not
the case. A legal action was brought against me, with the
judge accepting on behalf of the court an amount of money
sent in anonymously which settled the charge.
on page 154: Line 11 - it would have been accurate to say
I Uri Geller was dismissed from an officer's training course".
There is no evidence or reason to make the suggestion that
I was cashiered.
page 198: Line 24 it should state "charged through the
courts, and a settlement was made in favour of the plaintiff."
page 215: In paragraph 3, reference "f": I Uri Geller
was not, technically, "tried in a court of law and convicted"
but was charged through the courts, with a settlement being
made. The plaintiff in this case had charged that I Uri Geller
was performing tricks rather than producing paranormal feats.
The judge awarded the plaintiff only the price he had paid
for admission to my show.
shall reproduce for the purpose of clarity, the complete text
of the July 1971 article as it appeared in the Jerusalem Post.
ruled Breach of Contract
- The Magistrate's Court here yesterday upheld charges that
Uri Geller, the self-proclaimed telepathist, was guilty of
breach of contract in that he promised to perform feats of
telepathy, parapsychology, hypnotism and telekinesis, while
in fact he merely employed sleight-of-hand and stage tricks.
was ordered to foot costs of £20 and to repay the plaintiff
- Uri Goldstein, a mechanical engineering student at the University
of the Negev - the £7.50 Goldstein had paid for a ticket
to one of Geller's performances.
court ruled with the plaintiff that Geller's performance -
in contrast to his advertised promises - constituted a breach
of the contract defined by the purchase of a ticket to the
excerpt from Uri Geller Magician or Mystic by Jonathan
Margolis (Time magazine's European correspondent)
Published in the UK by Orion Books (1999) in the USA by Welcome Rain (2000).
perhaps Uri began from the late Seventies to rely on legal muscle
rather than any psychic power to pursue his fervent desire not
to be, as he saw it, cheated or defamed. He even became something
of a law junkie.Through an ever expanding file of legal cases
against his perceived enemies, he gathered a team of committed
lawyers in the US and Britain, who understand him and have become
wise counsel to him in both the legal and the personal sense.
In the USA, Richard Winelander, a Baltimore attorney, took over
the Geller file by accident when an ex-colleague, Don Katz,
was disbarred. 'I'm a criminal attorney,' said Winelander. 'I
don't even believe witnesses. But I believe strongly in Uri.
He's a genius, and he's my buddy. He managed to stop me smoking
fifty a day, and the spoon-bending is real. It is totally unbelievable.'In
New York his attorney and friend Robert Fogelnest keeps an eye
on everything that is written and said about Uri Geller. Robert
Fogelnest is immediate past President of the National Association
of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and lectures on courtroom
skills with a nationally famous Wyoming trial lawyer, Gerry
Spence.In London, Uri's barrister is the eminent Q C, Jonathan
Caplan, another classic high-flyer - and strong believer in
the paranormal and UFOs. His solicitor in Britain is Gordon
Hausmann, a fluent Hungarian and Hebrew speaker who is married
to an Israeli and has been involved in UK trials of anti-Israeli
terrorists. In Europe, a Zurich advocate, Ulrich Kohli, who
is also a Swiss Army lieutenant-colonel and a thriller writer,
looks after Uri's interests. Another close Geller adviser is
a retired Federal Judge in Santa Barbara, California, Lee Holden
who, like a lot of lawyers, was highly sceptical of Uri when
he first met him, but now credits him with being 'one hundred
per cent real' - and says his life changed dramatically by adopting
Uri's positive thinking techniques. It is perhaps unsurprising,
given such a range of family friends in the law and a father
so fascinated by law, that Daniel Geller, at just 17 and a prefect
at his private school near Reading, currently hopes to make
his career as a European commercial lawyer.The important thing
about Uri's cases as far as 'the big picture' is concerned is
that none have involved proof or disproof of the paranormal,
and almost all have involved James Randi's excitable turn of
phrase, In 1990, he sued Randi and a Japanese publisher for
Randi's claim in a Japanese magazine that Dr Wilbur Franklin
of Kent State University committed suicide because he was so
ashamed when Randi discredited Geller. In fact, Franklin had
died of natural causes. Randi was ordered by the court in Tokyo
to pay half a million yen (£2,500) for the insult while the
Japanese publisher settled out of court with a high six-figure
sum - in dollars, not yen. Geller successfully sued a newspaper
in Hungary, in which Randi had been quoted accusing him and
Shipi of being swindlers. Uri explained that he was bringing
the case because he was embarrassed that his Hungarian relatives
might have read the comments. The newspaper had to publish a
retraction and pay damages and costs. Uri sued Randi and CSICOP
for a comment in the International Herald Tribune that
his 'tricks' were 'the kind of thing that used to be on the
back of cereal boxes when I was a kid'. In the US, he sued Timex
for featuring a metal-bending performer in an advertisement,
claiming this effect was his trademark. In London, Florida and
Hawaii, he sued Victor Stenger, a sceptical scientist living
in Hawaii, and Prometheus Books for writing falsely that he
had been arrested in Israel for misrepresenting himself as a
psychic. Uri only regretted not suing Randi in the 1970s for
inventing the story of Uri being convicted of a crime.The Timex
case failed. In the Prometheus case, over the alleged arrest
in Israel, Uri gained a written apology and acknowledgement
of error from both the American and British branches of CSICOP.
In the States, the Herald Tribune case had to be dropped
when his then lawyer Don Katz failed to file on time, while
the argument that Randi was an agent of CSICOP was rejected.
This led Uri, ironically since he was the plaintiff, into having
to pay CSICOP $82,000 as part of a global settlement of all
the cases, although in the long run, both CSICOP and Randi seem
to have been more damaged than Uri by the six-year legal morass.
Randi continues to maintain that he won all the cases Uri brought.
A lot of Uri's mis-management of cases was clearly the fault
of Katz, his original Baltimore attorney, who seems to have
been almost psychotically stressed out when he made an error
on an unrelated case for which he was briefly disbarred. Katz's
co-counsels' insurers repaid Uri most of what he lost over the
case.A case not directly involving Uri, but which would not
have happened without him, came to court in 1993. Five years
earlier, Randi had referred in an interview to Eldon Byrd being
'in jail as a convicted child molester', Byrd sued in Baltimore,
with Winelander as his attorney. At the 1993 trial Randi accused
Geller in passing of blackmailing him with a transcript and
a tape that appeared to be of Randi having intimate sexual conversations
with teenage boys. Randi said in explanation that he had been
working on behalf of the telephone company in its attempt to
track down a minor who had been making obscene calls to his
home. After a discursive trial, the jury found Randi guilty
of libel with malice, but awarded no money to Byrd, having discovered
that Byrd had a past conviction for possession of pornography.
Randi has since repeatedly claimed he won this case too.If Uri
Geller's 'semi-retirement' in the USA looks more like a whirl
of activity, it has taken a somewhat hyperactive form in Britain
too, where he lives in a state of permanent reinvention. He
came to Britain when crime and shootings in the USA had made
him and Hanna doubt that it was where they wanted to bring up
Daniel and Natalie. On an aeroplane he met Clement Freud, a
distant relative on his mother's side, then a British MP, who
suggested he settle in England. The Gellers needed little persuading.Although
Uri gives the impression that over the past fifteen years he
has been quiescent, his own account of his activity - prompted,
as ever, by Randi and his claims that 'Geller is finished' -
belies the idea of retirement. 'In the past ten years,' he said,
'I've written seven books, which have been translated into dozens
of languages in thirty-three countries. I am working on five
more books. I write eight different columns for magazines and
newspapers, including The Times, My website has received
as many as 400,000 hits in one day, A full-length motion picture
about me by Ken Russell and distributed by Disney was sold to
sixty countries in three days at the American Film Market. I
have starred in countless TV specials and commercials, been
written up in recent months in Newsweek and Sports
Illustrated. And the latest Nieman Marcus catalogue in the
States uses my name - without having asked me - to advertise
a new range of silver cutlery. I don't mean to brag, but it's
a damned funny kind of "finished" Poor old "Amazing" Randi continues
to imagine things.'
here to read the book online for FREE
be sure to read the new last chapter click
Uri meets Randi
Monday April 12th 1999, at 9:20 AM New York time, Uri Geller
saw James Randi standing with a producer of the American TV
program "Inside Edition", outside the cordoned area where magician
David Blaine was buried. Uri was standing with his wife, two
children and Shipi Shtrang, his brother in law. Shipi who was
filming the event on a professional sony video camera. Uri walked
over to James Randi, who was just a few feet away, extending
his hand in greeting. Randi refused to shake Uri's hand. Uri
asked Randi "why aren't you shaking my hand Randi?" In turn,
Randi answered "because I hate your guts". The producer looked
a bit embarrassed. All this has been captured on video. All
of Uri Geller's attorneys have been notified about this interesting
and revealing remark.
Marcello Truzzi, Eastern Michigan University, conclusion.
Uri Geller wins Japanese legal action.
Uri Geller wins legal settlement.
Apologies by Montcalm publishing corporation.
Further apologies to Uri Geller in the High Courts
1992 G 395IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION BETWEEN URI GELLER Plaintiff and PROMETHEUS BOOKS INC PROMETHEUS BOOKS (UK) (a firm) EDDINGTON HOOK LIMITED VICTOR J. STENGER Defendants;
OF MICHAEL HUTCHINSON
AFFIDAVIT OF PAUL
is reported that Mr. Uri Geller and the Committee for the Scientific
Investigation of the Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) have
now reached by mutual agreement a comprehensive settlement in
relation to the last remaining law suits between them. This
follows earlier settlement of the action against James Randi
and Mr. Geller`s agreement not to pursue the 500,000 Yen award
obtained by him against Randi in the courts of Japan. The Japanese
publishers who printed Randi's remarks about Uri Geller settled
out of court with Uri, paying him an undesclosed very large
amount of money, comparable to that which would have been obtained
in the American Courts. The settlement reached with CSICOP includes
dismissal of the case pending in the English courts against
Prometheus Books, Victor Stenger, Paul Kurtz and others. This
case was shortly to be set down for trial. Paul Kurtz is the
Chairman of CSICOP and the manager of Prometheus Books (Defendants
in the English Action). Mr Kurtz and Prometheus have agreed
to send a letter confirming that they issued an "errata"
in all editions of the book, "Physics and Psychics"
since they first learned of the error in 1992, and will ensure
that any future edition will not contain those erroneous statements.
In an edition of its publication Skeptical Briefs, CSICOP
claimed it had incurred Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars
($250,000) in costs defending the libel actions against it.
Another individual defendant claims to have incurred approximately
$250,000 in costs defending himself from various libel actions.
In June 1992, Kurtz had issued a sworn Affidavit, stating inter
alia: Prior to publication [of the book] neither I nor anyone
employed by (Prometheus Books, Inc.) were aware that there were
any errors in "Physics and Psychics" and I never knew
that it contained the words complained of until I heard from
the solicitors for the Plaintiff. ...I now understand that it
is untrue ... I unreservedly apologize to him both on behalf
of myself and the first defendants [Prometheus Books]. Uri Geller
stated: I welcome this global settlement of the remaining law
suits which arose for the purpose of protecting my name and
reputation in various countries where I am well known, against
what are now accepted as unjustified attacks. I have accepted
Mr. Kurtz` apology, and feel that justice has been done, and
my reputation vindicated. My immediate future plans include
the forthcoming release of the film inspired by my life story,
"Mindbender" directed by Ken Russell and starring
Terence Stamp. I have also accepted invitations for television
and "live" appearances, and I am currently preparing
a TV special with Sir David Frost. Gordon Hausmann, Geller`s
principal UK solicitor says: It is sensible for Mr. Geller to
settle these disputes, in spite of a strong and compelling legal
case, which I believe would have been upheld by the Courts,
in order to end protracted litigation in different jurisdictions,
and come to an amicable settlement. However Mr Geller continues
and will continue to call to account those who defame him. There
are a few publications and books that contain inaccurate and
libelous statements about Uri Geller, those will eventually
be dealt with through the courts. Almost every country has different
libel laws and individuals who libeled will have difficulty
hiding behind the statute of limitations. In the USA some laws
vary from state to state.
Ruth M. Liebesman Attorney at Law
Park Avenue South, Suite 3300, New York, NY 10016, USA
Tel. 212 683 8000. Telecopier. 212 683 9422
We are happy to let people believe or disbelieve as their
conscience dictates. Unfortunately, a few people are very
threatened by what Uri can do, and do not want people to believe
what we know; that what Uri does is real. As a result, some
of them are willing to make up almost anything to discredit
him. Some of the lies have been beyond reprehensible, many
of them have been without any factual basis. But that's where
I come in. I protect Uri from the lies.
Litigation and Consultation
Bar Admissions: U.S. Supreme Court; U.S.
Courts of Appeal; 3rd; 4th; 11th & D.C. Circuits. U.S. District
Court; MD; D.C.
Suite 400, 19 East Fayette St., Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Tel. 410 576 7980. Toll free 1-800 757 2878. Panafax 410
685 5825. Pager 410 471 8272.
After years of being the Legal Guardian of Uri Geller's
Psychic Domain, my philosophy as Chief Litigation Counsel
has become relatively simple. If a skeptic or any individual
defames my client, breaches a contract, or tortiously interferes
with Uri's Business relationships, I will act immediately
to protect my client's interests, by bringing to bear the
full force of the law.
SUITE 3300, 475 PARK AVENUE SOUTH, NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10015
TEL (212) 683 8000 * FAX (212) 683 9422
Immediate past President of the National Association of
Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
open letter to The Guardian.
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