Seinfeld: I was only joking

Comic's legal defence against slander

Jerry Seinfeld is defending himself against legal action for slander, claiming his contentious comments were clearly a joke.

The multi-millionaire comedian is being sued by the author of a cookbook who also claims Seinfeld’s wife had plagiarised her recipes.

When Seinfeld went on David Letterman’s chat show to defend his wife against those charges, he sparked a writ for slander.

The comic’s lawyers have now filed their defence, admitting that he did joke about rival author Missy Chase Lapine on TV, but that the remarks shouldn’t be taken seriously.

‘Jerry Seinfeld made overstatements of opinion for comic effect,’ say the papers which call for the lawsuit to be thrown out.

Lapine is suing Jessica Seinfeld over her book Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Getting Your Kids Eating Good Food, which she claims is similar to her title The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals.

Seinfeld denied the allegations on CBS, hinting that Lapine was a ‘wacko’ and joking about the fact she had three names. He told Letterman: ‘If you read history, many of the three-name people do become assassins: Mark David Chapman and, you know, James Earl Ray. So, that's my concern.’

This is what he said:

Lapine is claiming that Jessica Seinfeld’s book plagiarised hers in concept, cover art, style and structure; although the Seinfelds lawyers have now hit back saying the titles differ ‘in terms of style, design, organisation, or look and feel’.

‘The idea of sneaking healthy foods into a child's diet is not original to your author,’ the lawyers said.

Published: 27 Feb 2008

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