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Gilbert Arenas' Ex Cleared for 'Basketball Wives LA' by Federal Judge

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on August 25, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Gilbert Arenas' Basketball Wives battle with ex-fiancé Laura Govan ended yesterday when a federal judge gave the go ahead, allowing her to appear on the newest season of the VH1 reality show.

Arenas had sued Govan, who also happens to be the mother of his four children, arguing that her appearance would infringe on his trademark and misappropriate his likeness.

He also didn't want anyone to think they were married.

In tossing out the complaint, the judge primarily focused on the show's "plot" and how it would relate to Arenas.

Sure, Laura Govan will talk about him, but the show is about women who date basketball players--not the players themselves--meaning that any mention will merely be incidental.

The judge goes on to call the use of Gilbert Arenas' name fair use--a defense to misappropriation and trademark claims--citing his Twitter account as proof that his life is a matter of public concern, as people seem to care about the most "mundane [of] occurrences."

Uses depicting a matter of general public interest tend to get more leeway when it comes to infringement, particularly when a person's likeness is not used to directly sell a product.

None of this, however, forecloses on the possibility of another suit by Gilbert Arenas.

Basketball Wives LA will premiere next week, and if the show, or Laura Govan, crosses the line from fair use to blatant misappropriation, Arenas can walk back into the courthouse, amend his complaint, and re-start the suit.

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