Jerry Seinfeld's Jokes Were Devastating, Says Author in Slander Case

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Jerry Seinfeld's Jokes Were Devastating, Says Author in Slander Case

Thu Oct 30, 2008 @ 10:00PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

SeinfeldsmallLast time we checked in with the case of cookbook author Missy Chase Lapine suing Jerry Seinfeld for slander, the comedian's lawyers were arguing that jokes were jokes, protected by the First Amendment.

Lapine's retort was submitted in court papers filed on Tuesday. Seinfeld's comparisons of Lapine to other people with three names — such as James Earl Ray and Mark David Chapman — may have been funny, but Lapine says they were emotionally devastating.

"I have never felt so frightened and vulnerable as the day my daughter, 7 years old, came home from school and asked, 'Mom, what is an assassin?,'" said Lapine in the court papers.

She reports "feeling scared" and thinking she "made a big mistake talking to any reporters because now this billionaire is angry and attacking me everywhere."

As for damages, it doesn't get any worse than a book author being rejected by Oprah. "Four times I attempted to be a guest on Oprah," she writes. "I was rejected each time."

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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