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Judge Tosses Out Susan Hassett's Plagiarism Lawsuit Against “The View” Star Elisabeth Hasselbeck

I must say that I was not at all surprised by the decision made on Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro to dismiss a plagiarism lawsuit that was filed by Susan Hassett (author of Living With Celiac Disease) against  Elisabeth Hasselbeck (author of The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide and star of the television show "The View"). I predicted such an outcome in my blog post: Did Elisabeth Hasselbeck Commit Plagiarism in The G-Free Diet?

Apparently the lawsuit was dismissed after Hassett’s attorney, Richard Cunha, failed to file certain paperwork in a timely manner.

According to
unclear why Hassett didn’t pursue the case. Her lawyer, Richard Cunha of Swansea, yesterday told the Herald, 'I can talk about that,' then hung up the phone.
Just for the record I never received a response from Hassett (I emailed her directly) regarding her book's use of my site's Safe & Forbidden Lists page from May 30, 1997. She used an almost identical copy of my copyrighted list without permission or proper citation. I asked that she correct this in future editions of her book, but she has ignored my request.

Judge tosses plagiarism suit vs. “View” star Elisabeth Hasselbeck

As always, welcomes your comments (see below).

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2 Responses:

Just an opinion

said this on
20 Nov 2009 1:10:15 PM PST
Scott, Susan Hassett not crediting you with proper citation would be quite annoying. But that does not negate the fact that Hasselbeck likely did plagiarize Hassett's book to some extent, as noted by the judge. At the end of the day - money talks. (Examine the Seinfeld case.) One noticeable oversight in your update here is regarding the judge who noted that Elisabeth likely did plagiarize a number of passages. That is something that should not be overlooked. (You may not have come across that fact when reading the news about this.) But I did. She may not have copied shamelessly; she may have copied without fully understanding plagiarism. Her background is in art not writing. Perhaps she provided her ghostwriter with some "notes", so the ghostwriter would have had no idea regarding the source of such ideas. So, I do not fault Hasselbeck's ghostwriter.

The idea of anonymous ghostwriting is distasteful. Elisabeth's "age" places her into a generation of shameless copycats, including so called "respected" and "professional" journalists caught red-handed. As well, people who do not have a background in writing may not understand what plagiarism entails: it's NOT just copying someone word for word. Well known facts aside, if one gathers their idea from someone else, or organizes their ideas in a particular way, a writer has to provide citation. I've read so many comments that demonstrates to me - as a writer - that people do not fully understand plagiarism.

I recall things Elisabeth has said over the years which indicates to me that copying someone else is NOT beyond her realm of possibilities; her opinion on shamelessly copying another's fashion design is not a problem for her. But fashion for me is far different than one's personal writing. My own personal experience with Elisabeth's suspected approach to "copying" another's writing, which I won't divulge here, was particularly troubling. But it is why this case did not surprise me in the least.

( Author)
said this on
22 Nov 2009 2:50:41 PM PST
Here we go again--attacking Hasselbeck for multiple things without proving ANYTHING to support it. What passages did she copy--I didn't read anything that said this. Please provide me with the specific passages, or be quiet. I am tired of baseless claims about this--facts only please. I have both books here in my office...

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