LOS ANGELES (CN) – A Sikh man claims Jay Leno defamed him and his religious group by telling a joke on his show: that Mitt Romney’s summer vacation home is the Golden Temple of Amritsar in India, a statement that “hurt the sentiments of all Sikh people”.
Randeep Dhillon, of Bakersfield, dba Bol Punjabi All Regions Community Organization, sued Leon and NBC in Superior Court.
He objects to a joke Leno cracked on his Jan. 19 show, that “the Marmandir Sahib, or Golden Temple of Amritsar, in India, was the summer vacation home of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney,” according to the complaint.
Dhillon says: “The entire publication was false as it pertained to plaintiff, and to plaintiff’s religion, and hurt the sentiments of all Sikh people in addition to those of the plaintiff.
“The publication and broadcast was libelous on its face and clearly exposes plaintiff, other Sikhs and their religion to hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloquy because it falsely portrays the holiest place in the Sikh religion as a vacation resort owned by a non-Sikh.”
Dhillon claims the joke caused him “loss to his reputation, shame, mortification and hurt feelings all to his general damage.”
In his gag, Leno told the audience, “Here’s a look at Mitt Romney’s summer home on Lake Winnipesaukee,” then showed a photo of the Golden Temple.
Dhillon demands punitive damages for libel.
He is represented by Indra Lahiti, of Bakersfield.