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D.C. nightclub's alleged false ad no joke to D.L. Hughley

Ruben Castaneda

Comedian-actor D.L. Hughley spent much of Saturday evening cracking wise at a comedy show at the Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro.

That same night, however, Hughley's local representative heard a radio ad saying the popular entertainer would be appearing later that night at Zanzibar on the Waterfront, a District nightclub locared on the Southwest waterfront.

The representative, Tracy Wiggs, learned that the club had also distributed fliers with Hughley's likeness publicizing Hughley's appearance at the club. But Hughley never agreed to such an appearance, according to Prince George's attorney Jimmy A. Bell.

And to Hughley, the ad is no laughing matter.


Hughley. (AP)

Bell filed a civil lawsuit for Hughley in Prince George's Circuit Court accusing Zanzibar of fraud and of misappropriating Hughley's name and likeness. The lawsuit asks for $1.1 million in damages. (The action was filed in Prince George's because the radio station which aired the ad, WKYS, is located in in Lanham).

A phone message left with Zanzibar's general manager Monday was not immediately returned.

In an interview, Bell said the only reason the nightclub would have advertised Hughley's appearance would have been to attract more patrons, which would increase the nightspot's revenue for the evening in cover charges and drinks sold.

Not only did Hughley not benefit from any such increase, his reputation was damaged, Bell said: After Hughley didn't appear at the club, Wiggs heard from people who suggested that Hughley believed he was too big to mingle with people who had followed him his entire career, Bell said.

From 1998 to 2002, Hughley was the star of the sitcom "The Hughleys." He was also one of the comedians featured in "The Original Kings of Comedy," a Spike Lee movie.

-- Ruben Castaneda

By Ruben Castaneda  |  March 29, 2010; 4:44 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities , From the Courthouse , Pr. George's , Ruben Castaneda , The District  
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