Jerry Seinfeld wins libel lawsuit


 

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has won a court ruling that stemmed from a legal battle by cookbook author Missy Chase Lapine.  Lapine accused Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica, of stealing her idea for a book on how to get children to eat healthy. Both women published their books in 2007.

Seinfeld told Letterman Lapine was accusing his wife of “vegetable plagiarism.”

“So there’s another woman who had another cookbook,” he continued. “My wife never saw the book, read the book, used the book … But the books came out at the same time. So this woman says, ‘I sense this could be my wacko moment.”‘

A New York judge on Friday tossed out a libel lawsuit by cookbook author Missy Chase Lapine, who accused Seinfeld of hurting her reputation by mocking her on national television.

Justice Marcy Friedman said it was clear the comedian was joking when he called Lapine a “wacko” and that Seinfeld has a constitutional right to express his opinion.

A federal court agreed with Seinfeld that the copyright suit was baseless and tossed that out last year.  Friedman’s ruling, signed Wednesday but filed Friday, noted that you can’t sue someone for libel in the U.S. merely for hurling an insult. You must show that a person lied about facts in order to damage a person’s reputation and did so in such a way that a reasonable person would have believed that those false statements were true.


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