- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 12, 2006

Vengeful ‘Hulk’

As “The Incredible Hulk,” Lou Ferrigno probably would have ripped off his shirt in anger. Instead, he’s suing his brother over trademark rights to a fitness equipment store.

Mr. Ferrigno, who played the green-skinned monster in the 1978-82 TV series, is suing Andrew Ferrigno and his wife, Janie, and their business, Ferrigno Fitness of Greenwich Township, N.J., claiming they are unlawfully trading on his name and image.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Trenton, claims the store has a green awning, portions of the interior are green, and one green wall is covered with photos of Lou Ferrigno in bodybuilding poses, as well as in his trademark green makeup for his role as the Hulk.

“This is bullying,” said Scott Wilhelm, lawyer for the defendants. “Andrew and his wife have been running their business for over 20 years, and now, for the first time ever, Lou wants to shut them down.”

“Andrew says nothing has happened between them to make his brother spiteful or vengeful,” Mr. Wilhelm said. “I don’t know what level of income Lou has these days, but Andrew is confident that it still far exceeds his.”

The lawsuit claims the “defendants deliberately chose a trade name incorporating the Ferrigno name in an effort to profit from the reputation and renown of Lou Ferrigno.”

The 53-year-old actor, who lives in Santa Monica, Calif., says in court papers that he has no interest or involvement in the store. His lawyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday.

Beat-ing Katrina

An auction of first-edition books, handwritten manuscripts and letters by Beat Generation writers Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Charles Bukowski raised $225,000 in San Francisco to benefit a publisher left homeless by Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans resident Edwin Blair, 69, said Thursday he reluctantly agreed to auction the items he had been collecting for 40 years as a way to help his friends, Gypsy Lou Webb and her husband, Jon, who published some of Mr. Bukowski’s earliest works.

One of the auction’s rarest items, an autographed 1960 first pressing of Mr. Bukowski’s “Flower, Fist and Bestial Wail,” sold for $9,775, the highest bid of the day.

Other items that drew aggressive bidding included a first-edition pressing of Mr. Ginsberg’s “Howl” inscribed by the author, which fetched $7,475; two typed letters from Mr. Bukowski that went for $4,025; and a 1945 photo of Hal Chase, Kerouac, Ginsberg and William Burroughs together at Columbia University that sold for $7,745.

Mr. Blair more than quadrupled the $50,000 he had hoped to raise to help pay the Webbs’ living expenses after their home was destroyed in the hurricane.

“She’s in her 80s now and was going to be living in a trailer after the storm,” said Mr. Blair. “That just ain’t right.”

About 30 bidders showed up at PBA Galleries near the North Beach neighborhood and several hundred, including representatives from universities and specialty libraries, bid from other locations.

Minority hire

France’s most popular television network has named a black journalist as a summer replacement for its star anchorman, a key change in the country’s almost all-white TV news scene.

Harry Roselmack will anchor the widely-watched 8 p.m. news show for TF1 from mid-July until the end of August when Patrick Poivre d’Arvor returns, the station announced this week.

Mr. Roselmack told Paris Match magazine that he has “no problems” with being hired in part because of his skin color. “It’s up to me to prove that I have my place.”

The appointment was big news in France, where the media is not considered ethnically diverse, despite large populations of blacks and Arabs. Mr. Roselmack, 33, hails from the French Caribbean department of Martinique, but he was born in France.

Unrest in poor French suburbs in November underscored the country’s ethnic problems. President Jacques Chirac said French media need to “better reflect the reality of France today.”

However, the privately-owned TF1 said it did not hire Mr. Roselmack in response to the unrest even though the station wanted to “improve the visibility” of minorities.

“We were looking for a very good journalist who, in addition, was black,” spokesman Edouard Boccon-Gibod told the Associated Press Friday.

There is only one other black presenter on French television, Audrey Pulvar on the state-run France-3 station.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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