Author Sues Jerry Seinfield over Cookbook

An author claiming that Jerry Seinfeld's wife plagiarized her cookbook is suing the famous couple. The lawsuit was brought Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by Missy Chase Lapine, the author of "The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals."

"Jerry Seinfeld is an enormously wealthy and well-known comedian, and Jessica Seinfeld is his wife, but that does not give them license to slander and plagiarize," the lawsuit said. The Seinfelds' lawyer, Richard Menaker, disputed Lapine's claims of defamation and plagiarism and suggested Lapine was seeking publicity to boost her book's sales. "Both are without merit," Menaker said. "There's no truth in fact or law to this claim of plagiarism. The idea for Jessica Seinfeld's book came from her own experiences with her family out of her own kitchen."

"Jerry Seinfeld is entitled to his opinions," Menaker said. "Even though Jerry Seinfeld is a public figure, he doesn't lose his right to free speech because of that." The lawsuit said the Seinfelds were warned even before the book was published that it had blatant similarities to Lapine's book.

But when Jerry Seinfeld appeared on David Letterman" Late Show in October, he said that Lapine was a crackpot and declared his wife not guilty of "vegetable plagiarism," the lawsuit said. The lawsuit also quoted him telling Letterman: "Now you know, having a career in show business, 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."

It said Seinfeld also noted that Lapine has three names and that "if you read history, many of the three-name people do become assassins." Then Seinfeld added, "Mark David Chapman. And you know, James Earl Ray. So that's my concern," the lawsuit recalled. That's pretty low, Jerry.