BROOKLYN (CN) – The DirecTV Group is using the image of a popular Russian comedian, Evvgeni Petrosyan, without his permission, to promote its Russian language TV broadcasts in the United States, Petrosyan claims in Federal Court.
Petrosyan says DirecTV blew off his attorney’s demand that it cease and desist using his name and image.
Petrosyan, who describes himself as a “cultural icon,” was named a “People’s Artist of Russia” in 1991. He says he has “declined all offers concerning commercial use of his name, picture and likeness” despite being offered “millions in endorsements”.
He claims DirecTV gave him no notice it would violate the Lanham Act and misappropriate and damage his name and image. He demands punitive damages of at least $10 million. He is represented by Beigelman, Feldman of Manhattan.