- Kim Kardashian Sued for Defamation over Tweets
- February 12, 2010
- Law Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP - Los Angeles Office
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian was sued for libel and defamation based on two Tweets she made about a diet company.
In early 2009, a news story reported that Kardashian, known for E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians and appearing on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, was one of several celebrity fans of the Cookie Diet. Dr. Sanford Siegal, creator of the Cookie Diet, linked to the news story on the diet’s Web site.
But Kardashian - a spokesperson for QuickTrim, another diet plan - took to her Twitter account to set the record straight. In two separate Tweets, she wrote: “Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet is falsely promoting that I’m on this diet. NOT TRUE! I would never do this unhealthy diet! I do QuickTrim!” This was followed by: “If this Dr. Siegal is lying about me being on this diet, what else are they lying about? Not cool!”
She also sent Dr. Siegal a cease and desist letter, seeking removal of the link from the Cookie Diet Web site (which his complaint states he removed).
Dr. Siegal responded by filing a lawsuit in Florida state court. He claims Kardashian’s Tweets are false and defamatory and that she has a “commercial motive” to defame the diet because of her endorsement deal with QuickTrim.
Why it matters: The case exemplifies that the potential for liability still exists even with the 140-character limit of Twitter, and sends the message that those who Tweet should use caution when they comment on other people and products. If the suit goes forward, the defamation questions will focus on whether or not calling someone a liar is truly defamatory and whether or not Kardashian’s statement that the Cookie Diet is unhealthy is a factual statement, or merely her opinion.