Comedian D.L. Hughley suing Zanzibar nightclub over event, flier with his name
The radio ads said D.L. Hughley was going to appear at D.C.'s Zanzibar nightclub last Friday. That was news to Hughley's promoter.
Indeed, when the promoter, Tracy Wiggs, checked with the star himself -- actually in town for a night of stand-up comedy at the Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro -- it turned out he didn't even know about it, says Hughley's lawyer. And both were baffled by the fliers they found online, promising that the star of "The Original Kings of Comedy" and "The Hughleys" would headline the waterfront nightspot's "Free Fall Friday" -- bottle service and VIP access available.
Hughley filed a $1.1 million lawsuit on Monday against Zanzibar in Prince George's County Circuit Court, alleging fraud, invasion of privacy and misappropriation of his name and likeness. A rep for Zanzibar said she was exploring the matter and did not offer a comment by deadline. But Hughley's lawyer alleges that the club refused his requests to cease promoting his appearance -- an appearance the comedian insists he never agreed to make.
Even when they're legit, celebrity "hosting" gigs tend to be somewhat phantom affairs: Athletes and entertainers are booked to do little more than show up, then vanish into a private room, leaving just a cloud of stardust in their wake. Many clubgoers have low expectations: At a much-hyped Jamie Foxx appearance at Love nightclub in 2007, patrons partied on happily even when the superstar called in sick.
But Hughley is taking this one seriously. "People called Tracy, saying, 'Why'd your boy fake on us? We went to the club, he wasn't there,'." said Hughley's Bowie-based attorney Jimmy A. Bell. "This is what D.L. said to me: 'I don't ever want this to happen to me again.'."
The Reliable Source
March 30, 2010; 1:03 AM ET
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