New York Yankees legend Yogi Berra has sued Turner Broadcasting System for $10 million, saying the cable network used his name without permission in its racy ad campaign to promote its reruns of Sex and the City.
The lawsuit, filed last week in Manhattan but not made public until Monday, claims the ads damage the 79-year-old Hall of Famer’s reputation by linking him to the sexually explicit show, according to published reports.
The specific ad in question refers to the behavior of series character Samantha, played by Kim Cattrall, and poses a multiple-choice question in which Berra’s name appears. The question asks for a definition of a “Yogasm.”
“Sex with Yogi Berra” is choice B, while the correct answer is C: “What Samantha has with a guy from yoga class.”
“In wanton disregard for the rights of Mr. Berra,” his name was “prominently displayed in public places on subway kiosks, billboards, public vehicles and other facilities,” states the 11-page lawsuit, which alleges that ads “damaged his otherwise spotless reputation, is hurtful to his personal sensibilities and has created a false image.” It also sums up the ad campaign with one word: “abhorrent.”
Berra, a New Jersey resident, is married and has children and grandchildren. He “is a deeply religious man who has maintained and continues to maintain a moral lifestyle and has a spotless reputation for integrity, decency and moral character,” according to the lawsuit.
A TBS spokeswoman said the station does not comment on litigation, New York’s Daily News reports.