My mother-in-law's so litigious...

Comic sued over her gags

A comedian is being sued by her mother-in-law, for making her the butt of too many jokes.

Ruth Zafrin has filed a lawsuit accusing American stand-up Sunda Croonquist of spreading defamatory and racist lies about her.

Croonquist leans heavily on her background in her act as a half-black, half-Swedish woman who grew up Catholic and married into a Jewish family.

Apparently her husband’s family were happy for her to make jokes about them – until she posted information on her website that identified them.

They have launched legal action in New Jersey, seeking unspecified damages and demanding that Croonquist remove any offensive statements from her website, routines and recordings.

Croonquist’s lawyer has asked that the suit be dismissed, and a judge is scheduled to hear the case next month.

Croonquist insists there is nothing defamatory about the gags, but on her blog confirmed: ‘My mother-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in -law are suing me for my act. Does my mother-in-law want to? Doubt it. We’ve had our moments but we don’t hate each other.’

The lawsuit was filed by Croonquist’s mother-in-law Ruth Zafrin, her daughter, Shelley Edelman, and Shelley's husband, Neil. But legal experts say they may find it difficult to win, as they would have to persuade the judge that the offending material was not just intended as a joke.

Here is some of her material about the mother-in-law:

Published: 27 Aug 2009

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