Jimmy Kimmel sued by YouTube's 'Flying Rabbi' Dovid Sondik over LeBron James video joke
Jimmy Kimmel was recently sued by the orthodox Jewish rabbi Dovid Sondick, a YouTube sensation known as the "Flying Rabbi", over a video segment that appeared to mock him and ran on his ABC late-night talk show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live!".Spokespeople for ABC and Kimmel declined comment. Sondick, who also goes by the first name Daniel and who is often spotted in New York, is claiming unspecified damages for "unauthorized use" of footage of himself and any profits made from it, according to papers filed in New York's Supreme Court. In the video segment that aired on an episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in August, Kimmel referenced a TMZ report that showed a photo of basketball star LeBron James sitting and holding hands with Rabbi Yoshayahu Yosef Pinto, a spiritual leader of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, who has ties to South Florida. James had announced in July he would leave Cleveland and play for the Miami Heat. "At one time I actually consulted with the rabbi myself," Kimmel then said. Footage of Sondick, whose hair is a different color than Pinto's, was then shown. He is seen looking into a driver's car window, jumping up and down and chanting in Yiddish. Kimmel is then seen sitting in a driver's seat and made to appear as if the rabbi is speaking to him. "I think you're right," the talk show host says. "Thanks, man. Shalom." Sondick says he was made to "look foolish" and was presented as a "laughingstock" on Kimmel's show. He added that he had suffered "embarrassment, loss of reputation, mental anguish and distress" as a result. Sondick also says footage of himself was likely taken from YouTube, which hosts many amateur videos that show him chanting on the streets of New York. He says his voice, picture and likeness were falsely portrayed as being those of Pinto and added that the show made it appear as if he had agreed to participate in the production.
Kimmel recently signed a deal with ABC to continue hosting and serving as executive producer of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" for two more years, reaching its 10th season. Kimmel gained international fame last year with his show's star-studded viral videos, "I'm (expletive) Matt Damon" and "I'm (expletive) Ben Affleck".