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DAILY NEWS – Don Imus Lawsuit

Book publisher sues Don Imus over ‘cheesy’ comment

DAILY NEWS – Marc Held, Partner, Held & Hines, LLP Quoted Re: Don Imus Lawsuit

A company that sells autographed books is steamed at Don Imus for trashing their product on the air as “cheesy” during paid commercial spots.

Flatsigned Press has slapped the I-Man with a $4 million suit, charging he cracked crude jokes at the company’s expense last January in ads touting copies of a book signed by President Gerald Ford, who had died the previous month.

“These bastards have been waiting for \[Ford\] to croak so they can unload these,” Imus said of the books, according to court papers. “Now that he’s flatlined, you go to Flatsigned.com.”

Flatsigned Press had cut a deal to advertise limited edition and “hand-signed” copies of the Warren Commission’s investigation into President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court say.

Ford, the last surviving member of the commission, had signed 2,948 copies of the $489 book, which Flatsigned hawked on his “Imus in the Morning” broadcast on his former radio home, WFAN.

Flatsigned contends that Imus, who got canned from WFAN last April for referring to the Rutgers women’s basketball team as ‘nappy-headed hos,’ repeatedly went way off-script when he mocked the ads for the books as “cheesy.”

“How else would he sign them, with his foot?” Imus said on air, court papers say. “What does hand-signed mean? Is that necessary?”

A lawyer for the company, which is also targeting WFAN and its parent company in the suit, said it had an agreement with WFAN that Imus would stick to the script.

“There was no mention of the words ‘bastards’ or ‘cheesy’ in the script,” lawyer Marc Held said. “There was a script in place that Don Imus was supposed to follow word for word, and he deviated from the script.”

Spokeswomen for Imus and CBS Radio, which owns WFAN, did not immediately return calls.

The suit alleges that Imus, whose show now airs on WABC radio, continued to joke about “Flatlined.com,” even after station officials told him to knock it off.

The Nashville-based company sells books that have been signed by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain, among others.

“Don Imus is known in the book community as one of the best booksellers in the country,” Held said. “That’s why Flatsigned paid a large sum of money to him.”

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