Lawsuit Over ‘Entourage’ Character’s Name Dismissed

May 17, 2012  •  Post A Comment

A lawsuit filed last year against HBO’s "Entourage" over the name of a character has been dismissed, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood, Esq.

The suit was filed by MTV reality show cast member John Devenanzio, alleging that "Entourage" damaged his name and personality. The lawsuit claimed "Entourage" caused him emotional distress by featuring a character called "Johnny Bananas," a name that Devenanzio, a cast member on "The Real World: Key West," said he was already known by.

New York Superior Court Judge Lucy Billings ruled that Devenanzio, who has also appeared on MTV’s “The Challenge,” filed his claims too late, the story says.

The Johnny Bananas character was played on “Entourage” by series regular Kevin Dillon on a show-within-the-show, the story notes.

HBO had responded to the lawsuit by saying Devenanzio had a "fundamental misunderstanding of the law governing publicity and privacy rights," according to the report.

The story adds: “The network asserted that nicknames are not protected under New York law, that the plaintiff had failed to establish a connection between his identity and what he saw on the show and that the plaintiff’s lawsuit failed because the nickname wasn’t used in advertising and thus didn’t meet the ‘commercial’ bar for such a claim.”

But the case came down to a technicality. “The episodes in question started airing on Aug. 15, 2010, and Devenanzio didn’t bring the claim until Oct. 3, 2011. The one-year statute of limitations window had closed,” the story reports.

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