Comic Jimmy Kimmel sued for flying rabbi video

By Jennifer Lipman, December 17, 2010
Jimmy Kimmel with Sarah Silverman

Jimmy Kimmel with Sarah Silverman

A US comedian will have to defend himself against allegations he inappropriately used a YouTube video featuring a Hassidic Jew.

Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel used clips of a man he did not know, David Sondik, speaking in Yiddish in a video the comic made spoofing basketball player LeBron James.

Mr Kimmel, whose on-off partner is Jewish comedienne Sarah Silverman, used the edited version on his late night news-comedy programme Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The original footage had been uploaded to YouTube by Mr Sondik and had nothing to do with basketball.

The clip appeared to show Mr Sondik advising Mr James, even though the two were unconnected.

Mr Sondik is seeking damages for this and for the fact that Mr Kimmel called the video the "Flying Rabbi,” although he is not one. Mr James had recently had a well publicised meeting with a US rabbi.

His lawyer told the New York Post that Mr Sondik had just been "goofing around" when his Yiddish tirade was filmed. Mr Sondik added that the clip had made him “a joke” in his Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood.

Last updated: 12:55pm, December 17 2010