It’s past four when Laura Wasser, 44, sweeps into her law offices in Century City in Los Angeles, looking all chic and put together. She’s just come from one of those fancy “Women in Hollywood” luncheons full of top agents, studio executives and stars. It was hosted by The Hollywood Reporter and sponsored by Michael Kors.
“Oh it’s all very fabulous, but the thing is, I’m not even a real entertainment lawyer, I just get lumped in,” she says, laughing. “But it’s fine with me!”
Wasser is Hollywood’s leading celebrity divorce lawyer. And the “celebrity” part appears to have rubbed off. She has handled break-ups for Angelina Jolie, Maria Shriver, Kim Kardashian, Stevie Wonder, Britney Spears…it’s a long list. Right now, she has 35 active cases, allegedly including Laura Dern, Heidi Klum, Dennis Quaid and 80s saxophonist Kenny G (though Wasser herself won’t reveal any names). She even looks like a celebrity – the kind of lawyer that all those hot TV lawyers are based on. She’s smart, fast-talking, expensive (at up to $800 an hour), and in the words of the drooling producers at TMZ, “superfine.”
Divorce and celebrity are all Wasser have ever known. Her father started the firm where she’s partner, so she grew up around stories of Hollywood break-ups. (The character Arnie Becker in L.A. Law was based on her dad.) Then her parents divorced when she was 16, a mercifully un-traumatic business: “They did it so gracefully and graciously. We still have lots of family occasions together.” And then she passed the bar herself, got married to a Spaniard in a beautiful wedding, only to find herself a year later plunged into the family business.
“For a minute, I worked at the Western Law Center for disability rights, writing up briefs to put safety things in public bathrooms,” she says. “But then I split up with my husband, and I needed to make a living. So I told my dad, ‘I don’t think it’s going to work out’. And he said, ‘Great, take care of it.’ That was my first case.”
Wasser has avoided marriage ever since. She has a seven-year old boy by a man she met a decade ago (and split up with five years ago), and a two-year old boy by another guy. So now, Wasser lives in a house in the Hollywood hills above the Sunset Strip, and she shares parenting with her two baby daddies who live separately.
“But it works, you know?” she says. “The two baby daddies are my family, and their families are my family. And there’s the family I grew up with – I have a brother, my parents who all live here…my cup runneth over.”