There can only be one "PERSIAN BARBIE" ... so says a smokin' hot model who claims Bravo's show "Shahs of Sunset" is illegally using HER moniker for one of their cast members.
Niki Ghazian (left) -- FHM model and self-proclaimed "Persian Barbie" -- fired off a cease and desist letter last week to Bravo honchos ... claiming the network has no right to use the term for its newest star Lilly Ghalichi (right).
FYI -- Lilly's co-stars refer to her as the "Persian Barbie" on the show ... which Bravo has utilized in promos and on Lilly's official bio.
Niki says that's not okay -- and while she never applied for a trademark, she says she's the "common law owner" ... claiming ever since 2005, publications like FHM, Kandy Mag, NYLA Mag and more have used it to describe her.
Niki is demanding Bravo stop using the term ASAP -- and remove it from their ads, website and any other press releases ... or else.
'Shahs of Sunset' Could Be
GREAT for Persians
3/9/2012 4:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
A powerful Iranian-American organization is convinced "Shahs of Sunset" will be loaded with tons of negative stereotypes about Persian people ... but the Org. tells TMZ ... it could be a GOOD thing.
TMZ spoke with a rep for the National Iranian American Council who tells us ... judging from the trailers, "[we] believe that it will only play up the negative stereotypes that exist about the Iranian-American community, such as materialism and superficiality."
The rep adds, "We've gone from being viewed as terrorists to being viewed as Beverly Hills brats. Neither portrayal is particularly flattering or accurate, but at least it may get some people talking.
"Hopefully, the American public will decide to probe deeper to fully understand the beauty and truth about the Iranian culture and its people."
Against 'Shahs of Sunset'
3/6/2012 11:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
A Persian woman who filed a lawsuit, claiming she was forced against her will to play the role of a bad girl on the new show "Shahs of Sunset" has settled her beef -- but we've learned she's walking away with a big fat nothing.
Sources connected with the dispute tell TMZ ... under the terms of the confidential settlement, producers have agreed to cut Kathy Salem out of the premiere episode of the Ryan Seacrest-produced show, which airs Sunday on Bravo.
According to the suit, Kathy claims she was verbally abused at a fancy Hollywood Hills party and then attacked by a gaggle of Persians, one of whom tried to rip her top off.
But here's the deal ... We're told producers didn't like her storyline anyway, so she wasn't going to make the cut. We beg to differ -- the storyline sounds kind of awesome to us.
And, we're told, Kathy got zilch by way of money.
As for the show, we hear it's epic.
Ryan Seacrest Sued
You Let Persians Humiliate Me!
11/18/2011 4:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Ryan Seacrest is being sued by a woman who claims she was "humiliated" in a taping of the new reality show he's producing called "Shahs of Sunset" ... insisting she was "forced against her will" to play the role of the "bad girl."
The show is being hailed as the "Persian Jersey Shore" -- featuring a bunch of young, rich Persians galavanting around Los Angeles.
But according to a new lawsuit, filed by a woman named Kathy Salem, the show is just as insane and violent as every other reality show in TV ... a lesson she claims she learned at a fancy Hollywood party back in July.
Salem claims she signed a waiver before entering the shindig and understood she would appear on the show ... but "she did not understand that she might be blind sided and forced against her will to play a demeaning and humiliating role."
Salem claims when she was inside the party, she was confronted by the stars of the show -- who began to bully her and become "verbally abusive" because she was talking to a man who was allegedly engaged.
Salem claims things escalated quickly -- and she was attacked by multiple people -- one of whom tried to rip her top off and another who threw a cup of water in her face.
Salem claims the show is set to air in February -- but she wants a judge to force Ryan to pull any footage in which she appears.
Salem is suing Seacrest, his production company and Bravo -- demanding at least $100,000 in damages.
Calls to Seacrest's people have not been returned.
A rep for Bravo tells us, "Bravo has not seen a copy of the complaint, and thus we cannot comment."