DOCUMENT: Celebrity

Cosmo Kramer, Exhibit A

Fighting slander case, Jerry Seinfeld points to TV character's antics

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Cosmo Kramer, Exhibit A

OCTOBER 7--Defending himself against a slander lawsuit brought by a cookbook author, Jerry Seinfeld argues that his work has often mocked the 'litigious nature of society' and points to the fictional antics of one Cosmo Kramer to explain his sharp televised gibes against the writer.

Seinfeld and his wife are being sued by Missy Chase Lapine, who contends that Jessica Seinfeld plagiarized her recipes while preparing her own best-selling cookbook. Jerry Seinfeld is being sued for biting comments he made about Lapine on the E! network and David Letterman's CBS show, where he compared Lapine (who was then contemplating litigation) to 'wackos' who had stalked Letterman. Seinfeld added that the 'hysterical' Lapine was a 'three-name woman' and 'if you read history, many of the three-name people do become assassins.'

In an October 3 court filing, a copy of which you'll find here, Seinfeld claims that his remarks were consistent with a 'recurring theme' of his comedy and not slanderous. Seinfeld points to a pair of 1995 episodes from his eponymous TV series in which Kramer files a lawsuit after spilling coffee on himself in a movie theater (and then settles the case out of court with the aid of superlawyer Jackie Chiles). Strangely, both episodes cited by Seinfeld were written by Larry David.

In his U.S. District Court statement, Seinfeld also cites the 2007 film 'Bee Movie' (which he co-wrote) as evidence of his propensity for tort-based humor. (5 pages)