MANHATTAN (CN) – Jerry Seinfeld defamed a cookbook author and accused her of being a “wacko celebrity stalker,” Missy Chase Lapine claims in Federal Court. She also claims the comedian’s wife, Jessica Seinfeld, “brazenly” plagiarized Lapine’s book, “The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals,” in Seinfeld’s book, “Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Getting Your Kids Eating Good Food.”
Lapine claims the Seinfeld book was published six months after her book was published, “even misappropriating the Book’s trademark, a caricature of a winking chef holding a finger to her lips – as if to say ‘shhh’ – and hiding carrots behind her back.”
Lapine claims that while Seinfeld’s book was “climbing to the top of The New York Times best-seller list,” reports circulated on the Internet and in other media “that, based on the stroking and substantial similarities between the two books, Jessica Seinfeld had plagiarized The Sneaky Chef.”
Lapine’s complaint continues: “Seeking to deflect those accusations, and apparently not content that his wife had unlawfully misappropriated Lapine’s book, Jerry Seinfeld, Jessica’s husband, embarked on a national media campaign of malicious defamation against Lapine. On the ‘Late Night With David Letterman’ show, Jerry Seinfeld stated, among other things, that his wife’s book came out ‘at the same time’ as Lapine’s; that Lapine was a ‘wacko’ celebrity stalker who, like the infamous stalkers who had terrorized David Letterman and his family, ‘waited in the woodwork’ to ‘spring out’ and attack his wife with plagiarism charges; and that Lapine was an ‘angry and hysterical’ woman who posed a potentially violent threat (‘assassin’) to the Seinfelds. Likewise, on E!News, Seinfeld referred repeatedly to Lapine as a ‘nut job’ who had ‘come out of the woodwork’ to attack his wife with false accusations of plagiarism.
“All of Jerry Seinfeld’s accusations were false,” Lapine says. She demands punitive damages and the profits from the allegedly infringing work. She is represented by Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman.