Bristol Palin may have left Los Angeles, but the budding reality TV star sure has left her mark on the city’s courts.
Former Disney star Kyle Massey and his family filed a lawsuit in L.A. Federal Court Wednesday claiming they had developed the concept of a reality show surrounding Sarah Palin’s eldest daughter’s attempts to raise her son Tripp in California — and then were cut out when another producer swooped in, gossip site TMZ reported.
Kyle Massey, his brother Christopher and mother Angela charge that producer David McKenzie took over, pitched the show to Lifetime, where “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Trip” premiered Tuesday night. The suit names McKenzie, Associated Television International and Helping Hands LLC alleging copyright infringement, fraud and deceit, breach of contract, bad faith, misappropriation, tortious interference and unfair competition, according to E! Online, which received a copy of the complaint.
“It is unfortunate that after months of trying to resolve this matter the professional way, we were left with no other course of action than to take legal action to protect ourselves,” Angela Massey said in a statement. “If you read the entire complaint…you will see how we created the show, registered the show and did all the leg work to bring this idea to TV and to the defendants, who stole our concept.”
Palin, who met Kyle Massey when they both competed on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2010, is not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.
She is, however, named in a defamation lawsuit filed last week by talent manager Stephen Hanks — who got in a heated exchange with the 21-year-old conservative scion after he lobbed insults about her mother, ex-GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin, at the Saddle Ranch bar in Los Angeles last September.
Hanks claims in the lawsuit to have suffered emotional distress over Palin’s questioning of his sexuality — she can be heard asking if his profanity laced tirade is “because you’re a homosexual.” He also says he was defamed by Palin’s allegation that she left California because of him.