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Rodney Dangerfield Still Gets No Respect

9/7/2006 3:23 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Joan and Rodney DangerfieldJoan Dangerfield, Rodney Dangerfield's widow, has filed a lawsuit against Melanie Roy-Friedman, the late comedian's daughter from a previous relationship.

Joan Dangerfield is accusing Friedman of copyright infringement and fraud for attempting to distribute a 1988 video of the legendary comedian's Las Vegas act.

In the lawsuit, Joan claims that Melanie persuaded Rodney to allow her to videotape his act for her "personal use, so that her future children could see it." Melanie then allegedly gave Rodney a copy of the video, but told him it was the master copy. Years later Rodney learned he did not have the master and asked Melanie for it. According to the lawsuit, Melanie refused to return the video saying it was her "personal property."

The lawsuit further states that Rodney was always hesitant to film his act for fear of being exploited. And after his death, that is what Melanie did, according to Joan.

Melanie registered the video with the United States copyright office and, according to Joan, misrepresented that she was the video's sole author and owner.

The lawsuit also claims that after Melanie failed to sell the video to HBO, she entered into a deal with Comedy Central.

Comedy Central is scheduled to air the video entitled "Legends: Rodney Dangerfield" this Sunday.

Although Joan is not seeking to stop the airing of the Comedy Central special, she is seeking to stop further acts of copyright infringement. The lawsuit also asks that all copies of the video be impounded and returned to Joan Dangerfield.

A call to Melanie Roy-Friedman was not immediately returned.

12 COMMENTS

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1.

JEB    

Oh, exciting. Is this Tori Spelling's mama, too?

2780 days ago
2.

bamer    

he looks dead in that picture

2780 days ago
3.

RiverRat    

It's sad to see what happens to families of celebrities after they die. Tori Spelling and her Mom and now this. To bad people can't just get along with each other. Surely, Rodney would not have wanted this to happen.

2780 days ago
4.

gregg    

He looks like a dead corps......

2780 days ago
5.

NFL    

What a horrid thing to do to your Dad. I bet she wants to be famous like Tori. There's a picture of her in USA Today online and she's a dead ringer for the wicked witch from the wizard of oz. Rodney looks miserable just being near her. In all the pictures of him with his wife he looks happy as hell. Wonder what the real story is. NFL

2780 days ago
6.

Peter Walters    

The daughter sounds psycho pure and simple. How come we've never seen or heard of her before? She was probably sploit rotten as a kid and didn't want her Dad to have such a hot wife. Party Pete

2780 days ago
7.

NFL    

Maybe Daddy's little girl wrote all his jokes and that's why she got the copyright.

2779 days ago
8.

Peter Walters    

Hey, somebody step on a duck?

2779 days ago
9.

Dee    

Hey Bagg - before you start trashing the guy as having no talent (he probably didn't write his own stuff) - I suggest you read his book; "It's Not Easy Bein' Me" - it's a really funny book and clearly proves that Rodney was unique and had talent. Watch "Back To School" or "Easy Money" - he wrote those too. Funny stuff. God Bless him.

2779 days ago
10.

KILLEEN KITTY    

RODNEY DANGERFIELD WAS & STILL IS (ROBERT KLEIN IS 2ND)THE MOST TALENTED COMEDIAN OF ALL. JUST LOOK AT THE STYLES OF THE YOUNGER COMEDIANS THAT REFLECT THIS GREAT MAN OF COMEDY. AS FOR HIS WIFE, A HOTTIE, YES SHE IS BUT WE KNOW WHY SHE MARRIED HIM AND IT WASN'T "FOR ONE OF THESE-" BUT FOR ALOT OF THESE-$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$" I HAVE TO SAY THAT HIS DAUGHTER IS HIS BLOOD AND THATS SHE SHOULD BE ABLE TO REAP SOME BENEFITS. ITS A SHAME THAT HER STEPMOTHER AND HER ARE AT WAR AND THIS MAKES RODNEY LOOK AS THO HIS FAMILY ONLY VALUED HIS MONEY AND NOT HIM. THE WORLD TRULY GIVES HIM MORE RESPECT.

2776 days ago

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