Dr. Phil show producer files lawsuit over Manti Te’o interview cliffhanger

05/07/2013 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Texas – A producer of the Dr. Phil show has filed a lawsuit claiming a media company’s sports blog spoiled a cliffhanger for an episode of the show in which the man who claimed to have tricked Manti Te’o was interviewed. As reported by The Wrap.com, Peteski Productions, a producer of the syndicated talk show, filed the suit against Gawker Media, which owns the blog, Tuesday in U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Texas.

The lawsuit asserts that the blog published an episode of the show in which Ronaiah Tuiasosopo demonstrated the voice he used to trick Manti Te’o into believing he was his “fake” girlfriend prior to the show airing, which contributed to lower ratings.

The complaint is quoted in the report as reading, “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.”

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.

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