Cookbook author not amused by Seinfeld's jokes

NEW YORK (AP) -October 29, 2008

In federal court papers filed Tuesday explaining her position for a December hearing, Missy Chase Lapine said her 7-year-old daughter was upset after Seinfeld joked on David Letterman's show that people with three names - James Earl Ray and Mark David Chapman, for instance - turned out to be assassins.

Lapine said she "never felt so frightened and vulnerable" as when her daughter came home from school "and asked, 'Mom, what is an assassin?"'

In a lawsuit filed last year, Lapine claimed Jessica Seinfeld got ideas for her cookbook, "Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food," from Lapine's book "The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals."

The Seinfelds' attorney said in a statement Wednesday: "As a comedian, Jerry has a right under the First Amendment to tell jokes. Ms. Lapine, on the other hand, was not joking when she maliciously accused Jessica Seinfeld, who also has young children, of plagiarism, a charge that is demonstrably false."

Earlier this year, lawyers for Jessica Seinfeld accused Lapine of falsely claiming she invented the idea of hiding fruits and vegetables in children's meals when "countless prior works utilized this very same unprotectable idea," including a 1971 book. They called the lawsuit "opportunistic."

In her affidavit, Lapine said she did not make accusations against Jessica Seinfeld "to gain media attention, enrich myself or harass the Seinfelds; and I was not lying in wait for an opportunity to become embroiled in a controversy with any celebrity."

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