(CN) – Actor and radio satirist Phil Hendrie sued as-yet unknown defendants for allegedly impersonating him in an effort to torpedo his new, internet-only “Phil Hendrie Show.”
Hendrie has been a fixture in California radio for decades, and for several years his program popular talk show was syndicated nationally. Earlier this year, however, he announced he was leaving traditional over-the-air broadcasting for good, and moving to the internet where anyone in the world could hear him.
During his program, Hendrie chooses a topic then discusses it with a “guest”, who is one of his repertoire of invented characters. Callers to his show, who are real people, offer their opinions on the “guest’s” comments.
Hendrie sells “Backstage Pass” memberships on his Website so members can listen to his older broadcasts and audio recordings of his characters.
In a lawsuit filed in the California Superior Court in Ventura County, Hendrie claims that impersonators used his name and other information to create accounts on social media sites, such as Twitter, to spread false information regarding the memberships.
Some posts falsely advised members to cancel their Backstage Pass memberships because his web site had been hacked which placed their financial information at risk, Hendrie say. Other posts falsely stated Backstage Pass accounts would be suspended immediately. The impersonators also made lewd and lascivious comments to third parties, he added.
“These communications have been made in an effort to humiliate, threaten and intimidate Hendrie and with the specific intent of causing him emotional distress and damaging Hendrie’s commercial endeavors including, but not limited to, the disruption of and dissemination of false information regarding the Backstage Pass memberships offered through the Website,” the complaint says.
Hendrie is seeking punitive and exemplary damages, and injunctive relief on claims the defendants misappropriated his name and likeness, internet impersonation in violation of California law, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
He is represented by Robert Collins of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith LLP of Los Angeles.
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