Jessica Seinfeld Sued For Plagiarism

Posted on January 7, 2008

It's finally happened: Missy Chase Lapine the author who first wrote a book about hiding vegetables in other food so children won't mind eating them (The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals) is suing Jessica Seinfeld, wife of Jerry Seinfeld, for copyright infringement saying that Jessica's bestselling book, Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Getting Your Kids Eating Good Food is a total ripoff of Missy's book, which was presented to HarperCollins before Jessica even came up with her idea. Jessica's book became a hit when Oprah Winfrey endorsed it.

Time reports that readers quickly noticed that many of the recipes were identical.

In a federal lawsuit, Missy Chase Lapine alleges that Jessica Seinfeld "brazenly plagiarized" from her 2007 book "The Sneaky Chef" in the writing of Seinfeld's own cookbook (both volumes focused on how to prepare healthy meals for finicky young eaters). When news stories appeared detailing similarities in the two books, Jerry Seinfeld launched a "malicious, premeditated, and knowingly false and defamatory attack" on Lapine, the complaint charges. As part of that campaign, Seinfeld went on Letterman's show and described Lapine as "angry" and "hysterical." He then compared her to the kind of "wackos" that had previously stalked Letterman. The comedian then added that Lapine was a "three-name woman" and "if you read history, many of the three-name people do become assassins."
We saw Jerry's appearance on Letterman: it was vicious and unprovoked. Missy's book was presented to HarperCollins first and was eventually rejected. The book was then published with another publisher. Months later Jessica Seinfeld pitched essentially the same book idea to HarperCollins who changed the name so it would be a bit different from Missy's book. We think Missy has an excellent case: we hope she has good lawyers, though, because Jerry Seinfeld can afford to fight this for years.

You can see the lawsuit in its entirety here.

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