Judge Orders Streisand to Pay $177,000 for Photographer’s Legal Fees

Times Staff Writer

Singer Barbra Streisand has been ordered to pay the legal fees of an amateur photographer who defeated a $10-million lawsuit she filed over a picture of her Malibu mansion posted on his website.

The $177,000 in fees are due today.

Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman initially ordered Streisand to pay Kenneth Adelman’s attorney fees last December when the judge dismissed the lawsuit that alleged the photo violated her privacy and the state’s anti-paparazzi law.

Streisand couldn’t reach an agreement with Adelman over the amount, so the judge ordered her to pay an additional $15,000 to cover Adelman’s costs of returning to court to set the fees and collect them.


“The amount requested, $15,000, is reasonable under the circumstances,” Goodman wrote in a nine-page opinion.

Streisand’s lawyer, John Gatti, did not return phone calls.

Adelman, a retired software entrepreneur, photographed Streisand’s oceanfront property at Point Dume from a helicopter at an elevation of 500 feet. The photo was posted on his website,, along with more than 12,000 other images of the state’s 1,100-mile coastline to show its splendors and push for its protection.

Streisand objected to the photo being posted online after a website viewer, using an interactive function, added the caption “Streisand Estate, Malibu.” The site soared in popularity after Streisand’s lawsuit drew media attention from around the globe.

The website, Adelman said Thursday, “is not about Streisand. It’s about the California coast, and she happens to have a very, very small part about it.”

Adelman is now working on posting 1972 photos of the entire coast so that the public can compare what has changed over the last 32 years. In 1972, California voters passed Proposition 20, a ballot initiative that provided the state’s first coastal protections and led to the formation of the California Coastal Commission.