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Jerry Seinfeld and wife Jessica win legal battle over cookbook

02/26/2011 by Kristina Lopez

Jerry Seinfeld was given a big victory on Friday when a judge threw out a lawsuit by a cookbook author who accused the comedian of hurting her reputation by mocking her on national television, according to The Associated Press.

Seinfeld's attorney, Orin Snyder, called the decision "a complete victory for Jerry, and also a victory for the First Amendment and the right of comedians to tell jokes."

Justice Marcy Friedman said it was clear the comedian was joking when he called the defendant, author Missy Chase Lapine, a "wacko" during his appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman" in 2007. According to the judge, Seinfeld also has a constitutional right to express his opinion.

The case came from a lawsuit that Lapine filed against Seinfeld's wife, Jessica, which accused Jessica Seinfeld of stealing her idea for a cook book on how to get children to eat healthy. Both books were published in the same year. Lapine's was called, "The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals." Jessica Seinfeld's was titled "Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food."

Lapine's lawsuit against Jessica Seinfeld was thrown out in 2010. Jerry Seinfeld ended up addressing the lawsuit it on Letterman in 2007 by cracking jokes about Lapine.

"One of the fun facts of celebrity life is wackos will wait in the woodwork to pop out at certain moments of your life to inject a little adrenaline into your life experience," Seinfeld told Letterman.

"So there's another woman who had another cookbook," he continued, according to The Associated Press. "My wife never saw the book, read the book, used the book ... But the books came out at the same time. So this woman says, 'I sense this could be my wacko moment."'

Lapine's lawyer, Howard Miller, said he and his client were evaluating the opinion and would decide later whether to appeal.

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