LOS ANGELES (CN) – NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas wants the mother of his children off the reality TV show “Basketball Wives: Los Angeles,” claiming the show will exploit his name and image without his permission.
Arenas, a guard for the Orlando Magic, sued the production company Shed Media US and Laura Govan, the mother of his four children, for trademark infringement, false advertising, misappropriation of his likeness and publicity rights, and unfair competition.
A press release for “Basketball Wives” says the VH1 show “will dive into the real-life locker room of these leading ladies, giving viewers a never-before-seen look at what it takes to live in La La Land and be connected to a famous professional athlete.”
The show is set to premiere in August.
Arenas claims Govan wants to “promote her own commercial brand and become a television personality” through the show, and that Shed Media plans to profit off Govan’s exploitation of her past relationship with Arenas.
“Basketball Wives” is not protected by the right to free expression, Arenas says: “Defendants are not ‘expressing’ anything other than their attempt to profit from plaintiff’s fame.”
Though the promotional materials for “Basketball Wives” do not explicitly mention Arenas, he says, “the very presence of defendant Govan and the title of the show is an obvious reference to plaintiff and use of plaintiff’s likeness; for example, on June 20, 2011, the same day that defendant Shed Media issued a press release through VH1, the Washington Post published a story titled, ‘Laura Govan, Gilbert Arenas’s Ex, Joins Cast of ‘Basketball Wives LA.'”
Arenas says his attorney contacted Shed Media’s attorney to try to avoid litigation, but Shed Media is plowing ahead.
Arenas also notes that “not all of the featured women in the show are the wives of current NBA players.” The show also features the lives of women who are dating, or who dated, NBA basketball players. … The show thus provides these women with a vehicle and worldwide platform to use, without permission or authorization, the names and/or likenesses of famous NBA professional basketball players they know on a personal level for their own commercial gain.”
Arenas seeks an injunction and restraining order and statutory and punitive damages.
He is represented Richard Sybert with Gordon & Rees.