CHICAGO (CN) – When negotiations to license Jim Belushi’s name for a Chicago comedy club broke down, a club manager maligned the actor, he claims in court.
Belushi, the “According to Jim” star whose comedian brother, John, made the family name iconic, filed the defamation complaint on June 4 in Cook County Circuit Court. On Friday, he sued the club and one of its owners, Kyle Lane, for unjust enrichment.
Both disputes stem from negotiations between Belushi’s company, Bessie Blue LLC, to license its “Belushi’s Comedy Bar” trademark to the Comedy Bar Comedy Club in downtown Chicago.
In today’s complaint, Belushi says Lane approached him about the deal amid an image crisis stemming from Lane’s “personal conduct.”
When those talks broke down earlier this year, Lane’s girlfriend, Sahar Chavoshi, “then embarked on a public campaign to malign” Belushi’s reputation and his business in Chicago and around the country, the June 4 complaint alleges.
Belushi describes Chavoshi as the general manager of the Comedy Bar at a previous location.
He says Chavoshi maligned Belushi by telling comics that he “is a liar who has engaged in fraud and that he has lied to and manipulated comics who worked at “Belushi’s”- branded comedy bars.”
With Chavoshi claiming that Belushi was trying to oust her boyfriend to take over Comedy Bar for himself, Belushi says one web designer has refused to complete a job and “at least two comics” have canceled appearences at Belushi-branded comedy bars.
Cavoshi “admitted to making defamatory comments” when Belushi confronted her, the June 4 complaint states.
Meantime Belushi says Comedy Bar and Lane received unjust enrichment by virtue of his promotional endorsement of the club, for which he was supposed to receive a percentage of the club’s business.
He and Bessie Blu seek punitive damages from Chavoshi for defamation. They seek equitable relief in the complaint against Lane and Comedy Bar.
Naureen Amjad of Pedersen & Houpt filed both complaints for Belushi.
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