Seinfeld sued over 'wacko' jibe his wife is hit with plagiarism charge

Jerry Seinfeld has been hit with a lawsuit for defamation – for defending his wife’s cookbook.

The comic’s contentious comments came in response to a claim that his wife Jessica had plagiarised idea about how to sneak healthy foods into children’s diets.

Chef Missy Chase Lapine claimed the book, Deceptively Delicious, used many of her ideas, which she had published six months earlier.

Now Jerry Seinfeld has been hit with a writ after sticking up for his wife on The Late Show With David Letterman in October.

On the talk show, Seinfeld referred to Lapine as ‘a wacko’ who waited in the woodwork to disrupt his life.

He said: ‘There’s another woman who had another cookbook, and it’s a similar sort of thing. So this woman says, “I sense this could be my wacko moment”

‘We’re sorry that she’s angry and hysterical because she’s a three-name woman… and you know if you read history, a lot of three-name people do become assassins,’ he joked

When Letterman asked Seinfeld was worried his comments could exacerbate the situation, the comic replied: ‘Well, that gets me another shot on your show.’

But the consequences could be more serious than that, as Lapine filed a defamation lawsuit yesterday, accusing Seinfeld of maliciously casting her as mentally unstable.

Papers filed in y in Manhattan Federal Court said: ‘Jerry Seinfeld is an enormously wealthy and well-known comedian, and Jessica Seinfeld is his wife, but that does not give them license to slander and plagiarise.’

The lawsuit – which seeks unspecified damages - details numerous similarities between Lapine's book and Seinfeld's, such as camouflaging avocados in chocolate pudding.

The Seinfelds' lawyer Richard Menaker replied: ‘Even though Jerry Seinfeld is a public figure, he doesn't lose his right to free speech.’

Here is Seinfeld’s interview with Letterman:

And click here for the court documents.

Published: 8 Jan 2008

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