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‘Sneaky Chef’ isn’t laughing at Seinfeld’s jokes

Missy Chase Lapine says she wasn't amused when the comedian joked on TV last year that people with three names turn out to be assassins. The author of the “Sneaky Chef” cookbooks is involved in a plagiarism suit against Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A cookbook author involved in a lawsuit with Jerry Seinfeld's wife says she wasn't amused by jokes the comedian made last year on late-night television.

In federal court papers 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?'”Lapine claims Jessica Seinfeld got ideas for the “Deceptively Delicious” cookbook from Lapine's “Sneaky Chef,” which teaches parents how to hide vegetables in recipes for children. 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."