Tobey Maguire Settles Poker Suit, Can’t Quite Recover Squeaky-Clean Image
Tobey Maguire has settled that pesky high-stakes poker lawsuit he’s been caught up in. But do you still trust him?
Oh, Tobey Maguire. You used to be so clean-cut and innocent. What the heck happened?
Oh, right. Poker happened. Illegal poker. Illegal, high-stakes poker run by a Beverly Hills hedge fund manager who was convicted of operating a Ponzi scheme. Whoops.
Here’s what went down: This past June, Tobey was among 22 people who were sued for winning money in illegal high-stakes poker games that were put together by hedge fund manager Bradley Ruderman. Ruderman is currently in jail for operating a Ponzi scheme, meaning that he was paying his investors either with their own money or with money gotten from other investors, rather from any profits being turned by the whole thing. Since Ruderman’s company is now bankrupt, his trustees are trying to dig up money from wherever they can find it in order to pay off everyone who needs paying off.
This is where Tobey comes in: According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Ruderman and some others put down a whole bunch of money that actually belonged to their clients in private, unlicensed, high-stakes poker games in LA. Tobey, it turns out, is really, really good at poker and won upwards of $300,000 at those games. But since unlicensed poker games are illegal in California, his winnings are considered ill-gotten—the money belongs to the clients Ruderman took it from—and subsequently, he (and 21 others like him) were sued by the trustees of Ruderman’s debtors. The goal of the litigating is to recoup money for those poor unfortunates who got duped by Ruderman.
Now, though, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Tobey is settling the suit. Tobey will pay up over $80,000 to be dropped from the suit, along with disavowing any knowledge of the Ponzi scheme and agreeing not to make any claim on the bankrupt estate. The settlement still needs to be approved by a judge, though; a hearing has been set for December 21 to consider it.
It’s somewhat unfortunate that Tobey’s squeaky-clean image has been forever tarnished by this whole affair; but at least he’s pulling himself out of the whole mess. Other celebs caught up in it include The Notebook director Nick Cassavetes and record label owner Coby Leibel. Stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck were also linked to the poker games with $50,000 buy-ins, but they weren’t sued.
And this is why high-stakes poker is usually a bad idea.
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.