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Hasselbeck

Accused of No Original Thoughts

6/23/2009 11:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Elisabeth Hasselbeck ripped off a woman by plagiarizing her disease material -- so claims Susan Hassett, who fired off a letter to "The View" host just before suing her.

Elisabteh Hasselbeck Click to view docs

We obtained the letter -- in which Susan claims she sent Elisabeth a book called "Living with Celiac Disease" back in April of '08. Thirteen months later, Susan says Hasselbeck published the same book with a new title: "The G Free Diet-A Gluten Free Survival Guide." Yes, the title sucks.

Susan compares chapters and lines. Here are some highlights.

Susan's Book Chapter 1: What is Celiac Disease?
Hasselbeck Chapter 2: What is Celiac Disease?

Susan's tips: "Shop in the outer isles of the supermarket."
Hasselbeck's tips: "Food in the outer isles of the supermarket."

And the comparisons go on and on.

Susan just sued Elisabeth for copyright infringement and plagiarism.

UPDATE: We've just obtained a statement from Elisabeth's people: "Neither Center Street nor Elisabeth Hasselbeck has been served with the Complain in this action. However, there is no basis for the allegations in the Complaint as published in the press. Ms. Hasselbeck worked diligently and tirelessly on her book and is disappointed in this attempt to discredit her work and her ability to bring this important message to the public."

107 COMMENTS

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1.

snoopyd    

She is so annoying and WRONG about everything, I enjoy watching the view but when she opens her stupid mouth sometimes I have to change the channel. I wish they would fire her, so I could watch the entire show.

1881 days ago
2.

Perplexed    

Has anyone actually read the letter? I'm no Elisabeth fan, but those "plagiarism examples" are... not. There are other books about celiac disease that were written before either of the books in question that talk about lists of symptoms, shopping around the edge of the store and using cards in the restaurant. Those are ideas and concepts. They're not copyrighted. If there aren't some actual word-for-word passages in there somewhere (and if so why not use those in the letter when asking for a settlement instead of the so embarrassingly not even close to plagiarism complaint about a list of symptoms), there's no case.

Just like anyone who writes about fitness, or training a pet, or decluttering a house, there are only so many ideas and concepts in those topics. Authors use them in various ways all the time. One of the complaints in the letter is that there is a chapter on children with celiac disease! So now your book on decluttering can't have a chapter on closets if someone else has already covered that. Hope your closet is already tidy.

It's an interesting way to sell a book, though. Suing another author and then commenting on blogs and message boards that people can't compare properly unless they've read both.

1881 days ago
3.

ATLglutenfree    

Scroll to the bottom of this article to read a thorough review of Hasslebeack's book. For 17 years this magazine has done the work to educate the gluten-free set about living gluten-free. So of course, they have a few issues with the misinformation in the book.

http://www.examiner.com/x-11318-Atlanta-GlutenFree-Food-Examiner~y2009m6d30-GlutenFree-Living-magazine-sticks-to-the-facts

1877 days ago
4.

JT    

First!!!!

1884 days ago
5.

Michael Madsen    

Can she sue her for being a stupid skank too?

1884 days ago
6.

Cheryl    

Never liked MS. Elizabeth in the first place - hope she gets reamed a good one! Couldn't happen to a nicer B&%#h.....

1884 days ago
7.

canyouspell?    

Shouldn't it be aisle?

1884 days ago
8.

pacsboy    

BTW...its spelled aisles not isles. They're not surrounded by large bodies of water.

1884 days ago
9.

wonderwoman    

Noone likes her on the show she is just the American Pie image on tv talk shows!!!!

1884 days ago
10.

Jill    

Any one who knows anything about Celiac disease would know this very basic, general information. It's not copyright infringement when it's public medical knowledge - idiot. She doesn't seem to have a strong case. What's she going to do next? Sue WebMD and all medical encyclopedias for providing free health information?

I see similarities in the wording but how many times can you "re-word" the question "What is Celiac disease?" If its not word for word on every page, the suit is no good. Sure hope Hasselback at least wrote in Susan a thanks or bibliography for her contributions.....

If every case like this were taken to court, we'd never have the opportunity to advance, learn new things or share ideas. Silly suit, hope the judge sees it.....I've worked din the medical field for waaaaay to long to see a drop of sense in this.....

1884 days ago
11.

JT    

I'm sorry to say I spent $25.00 on this book. Even though I've never agreed with Hasselbeck on the issues I do have Celiac disease and thought she might have some insight on the matter. I could not believe how lame the book was. All the chapters seemed tp just say the same thing but with different verbage. It was more for someone who just found out about the disease and not for someone whose been through it. The book only had four recipes in it. It contained most of the information yyou can find about Celiac disease at celiac.com but no thought provoking information on how she lives with it on a daily basis or encouragement for others struggling with it.

1884 days ago
12.

Rob    

I hope she takes Elisabeth for all the money she has. I can`t stand Elisabeth who thinks she knows everything about everything......

1884 days ago
13.

renheff    

Well, she's consistent, I'll give her that. The whole time George W. was in office, all she did was spew his talking points. The girl has never had an original thought in that peroxided head of hers. She enjoys being the contrarian on the show, but there is no intelligence behind it. They need to have an intelligent conservative foil on that show (there has to be one out there SOMEwhere!). I'm hoping she doesn't come back after she pumps out her next kid. Maybe Megan McCain could do it!

1884 days ago
14.

Anita    

And this is a surprise - how??
Elizabeth does not have an original thought in her brain!

1884 days ago
15.

Anita    

She is just a childish dimwit. Hope she stays home to take care of her 3 kids after she gives birth. That's all she's good for.

1884 days ago
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