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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."


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U Go Susan......I can't stand Elisabeth and no longer watch the view because of HER.

1918 days ago


Yeah, I don't see the plagiarism. Even if she used Hasset's book as a source.. she didn't plagiarize it. All celiac disease/gluten free diet books have chapters on symptoms, shopping, and kids with the disease. People are just money hungry.

1918 days ago


Didn't Ann Coulter also get accused of plariarism? What is it with these lying, stealing blondes for Bush skanks?

1918 days ago

oprah & michel hater    


1918 days ago


TMZ, E, Entertainment tonight, they will all tell us the same lame stories today, yesterday, everyday. So much for original thoughts? Once in a while one of them MIGHT be '1st' on a breaking camel toe story (go tmz!) Sad thing is, they have no original thoughts on the same lame stories at least this was an ATTEMPT to help ppl with celiac's. If that fell short of 'help' then maybe that should be the discussion. I guess her attempt not being in a hateful mean spirit as the pap's.... who help tear apart families (jon&kate) or report on some actors spouse, you know the same old same, regurgitated non-stories. You go EH you're in good company if you did share a same story, right TMZ?

1918 days ago


Elisabeth experienced her most relevant days as an 80-pound waif on Survivor Australia. Many people who watched her then, adored her, as she was just so lovable and cute, but I believe that her stardom has faded since. Don't misunderstand (as opposed to "misunderestimate"), she is still a nice looking young woman, I am just not sure as to what her major contribution to society is at this point. I've not seen or read either book, and don't plan to. Just not my type of reading material, as I believe that it would require a specific, dedicated audience. Everyone, enjoy your happy day ! ! !

1918 days ago


Wow. I'm no lawyer, and I certainly won't be the judge in the case, but when reading the letter, I was amazed to see that BOTH books apparently share the same misspelling -- both books used "isle" instead of "aisle" to mean "supermarket aisle"; but "isle" is short for "island." If that wasn't just an error in the letter, and if I were the judge, I'd be taking a hard, HARD look at that similarity -- especially since since Hassett's book was self-published (some typos and minor errors are expected in a self-pubbed book), and Elizabeth Hasselbeck's was published by a major commercial publisher -- meaning it would have been (should have been) carefully edited several times before publication, so should have contained few or no errors. But yet, that *particular *identical error appears in the big-name-published book. And then there's the "similar chapter titles" jolt to consider. Personal opinion? I think Elizabeth Hasselbeck's attorney is going to have to work a little harder than for most celebrity authors to prove "no plagiarism."

1918 days ago


I'm not sure the other author has a strong cased based on those facts, but I did find the book very informative. Both my sister & I found it very helpful.

1918 days ago


The problem with fame is that once you get a taste you'll do anything to keep yourself in the spotlight (just look at evolution of Kate Gosselin). Hasselbeck flipped her forgettable reality show appearance into a A-list daytime hosting gig, and I have no difficulty imagining that she'd then exploit her serious illness and co-opt the ideas of another person to gain more attention with a book and book tour.

Will we ever know the truth? Likely not, as ABC has deep pockets and will crush/bury the author of the first book.

1918 days ago

capt ham    

the "isles" of the supermarket. does this disease or lack of nutrition cause one to be illiterate--since when are there "isles" or islands of a supermarket. i don't get the reference. i coouldn't buy the book, or care less about someone that doesn't know what the hell they're talking about.

1918 days ago

you must stupid    

I love reading all the liberal nutjobs on here bitching about "an original thought." Yeah, "hope and change" was pretty damn original. Especially when he can't even begin to tell you what exactly the "hope," nor the "change" is.

Now hurry back to your "blame Bush for your miserable existence" lives!!!

1918 days ago

you must stupid    

Please, I hear song after song that are more similar than these two books. The woman suing is just a leftwing radical nut looking for a handout. Hey, imagine that, a liberal wanting something for free. SHOCKER!!!

1918 days ago

you must stupid    

@ bearcup,

Not only would I like to know what you think the other whores that Elizabeth shares the show with have "contributed to society," but I think we would all LOVE to know what you yourself have contibuted to the world.

Thanks in advance

1918 days ago

Fact Check    

You couldn't be more wrong Julie Barman.

The books are similar in every way; opinions and Sue's own research has been copied. The layout is the same. The dedications are the same. The verbiage is the same. The advice is the same. The catchy phrases are the same. The comparisons are the same. There are pages after pages of similarities. Elisabeth did not give credit to Sue for the book. It goes beyond nutritional guidelines and public knowledge. There is even some direct copying.

If you have not read both books - you are not in a position to comment Julie Barman. And I happen to know that you haven’t.

Copyrighted work is protected under the law. Sue Hassett is standing up for what is right - why should some pseudo-celebrity be given a free pass if she has stolen someone’s HARD work and near-death experiences with this debilitating disease?

You have no idea what you are talking about - you are an obvious ploy to distract and distort from the truth that Sue Hassett is trying to expose.

And BTW- Sue Hassett was contacted by another author who told her it appears Elisabeth had copied her book. Sue did not ask for this. Sue wrote to ABC and was ignored. Numerous bloggers found Sue’s story and encouraged her to get a legal opinion.

Sue Hassett has a very strong case. We’ll let the judge decide if that’s all right with you.

1918 days ago


Of course she has no original thoughts. She is a Republican, after all.

1918 days ago
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