One of the producer's of the popular daytime talk show "Dr. Phil" has filed a suit against Gawker Media over an episode that featured an interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo who said that he was the one who created the girlfriend hoax against Manti Te'o.
Te'o game notoriety when the hoax made national attention. The NFL prospect who was playing for Notre Dame had been in an long-distance relationship with a fake girlfriend called Lennay Keu who he never met and who had allegedly died. The woman actually turned out to be a Ronaiah Tuisasopo who had been pretending to be the girl via their online and phone relationship.
The eight page complaint filedo n Monday in federal court in Texas, Phil McGraw claims that Deadspin posted the interview immediately after it had aired on the East Coast but before it aired in other areas, reported The New York Daily News.
The suit claims that viewers were taken away from the show because of Deadspin's post and they are seeking unspecified damages because of copyright infringement.
The video that was posted on Deadspin was from a Feb. 1 episode of "Dr. Phil" where Tuiasosopo demonstrated the voice he used when pretending to be Lennay Kekua.
"According to the lawsuit, Deadspin's early posting of the episode -- the second of a two-part interview with Tuiasosopo -- had a negative effect on the episode's ratings, because it spoiled the cliffhanger of whether he would demonstrate the Kekua voice," reported MSN.
The complaint read, "In a premeditated plan to steal Peteski's copyrighted material, Deadspin posted the video of the second show to the Deadspin blog not later than 9:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, hours before the Dr. Phil Show aired to over 98 percent of its viewers. Although the second show was expected to exceed the ratings number of the first show, in fact, the ratings declined substantially because the result of the 'CLIFFHANGER' was no longer in doubt. It had been misappropriated by Deadspin."
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