Actress’ Suit Says Image Has Suffered Royal Pain, Oil Stain

From Florence Henderson to Florence and Normandie, sheiks to sultans, we cover your world.

Say the name Florence Henderson and two things come to mind: “The Brady Bunch” and Wesson cooking oil. Certainly not porn queens, or gift shops for people into body piercing.

Henderson’s wholesome public image is under threat from the counterculture, an invasion of privacy suit charges in Los Angeles Superior Court. Henderson is seeking an injunction to stop an El Segundo clothing company and a Sonoma County gift shop from using her picture to peddle their wares.

Henderson, who played perky mother of six Carol Brady and sang about having “Wessonality,” is closely associated with family values, the suit states. That squeaky-clean public persona has made her one of the top five TV pitch people, the suit claims, quoting no less an authority than the Wall Street Journal.


Henderson is not at all amused by a company called Serial Killer Inc., which uses the Internet to sell T-shirts and stickers featuring Henderson’s smiling face above the words “Porn Queen.” The company’s Web site brags that its products “are funny and make old people upset.”

Meanwhile, Henderson also is not happy with a gift store called Gravenstones and an ad it ran earlier this month in the Sonoma County Independent newspaper. A copy in the court file shows Henderson’s photo with the caption: “When I’m not soaked in Wesson Oil from head to toe, I’m shopping at Gravenstones.”

The same ad notes that the store also sells “I (Heart) Satan” T-shirts and has a large supply of body jewelry.

THE VIDEO THAT KEEPS ON GIVING: That infamous footage of trucker Reginald Denny’s beating during the 1992 riots has led to a legal decision protecting owners of copyrighted material that is transmitted overseas.


The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision giving Los Angeles News Service the green light to seek monetary damages in U.S. District Court from Reuters, which copied the Denny beating tape for its foreign clients. The high court decision overrules a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles who found that copyright laws offer no protection against foreign exploitation.

Los Angeles News Service, owned by former TV news personality “Chopper Bob” Tur, sells stories and pictures to various media outlets. While shooting the Denny footage, Tur’s helicopter came under fire and he was forced to make an emergency landing.

He already has recovered $60,000 from Reuters for domestic copyright violations.

Attorney William A. Bergen said that because the law allows damages for each of the admittedly 1,200 times the pirated tape was shown, the financial award could be huge. Stay tuned.


SOUR NOTES: A Los Angeles man claims he was defrauded by Luciano Pavarotti and several Italian business associates in a deal over rights to the famed tenor’s 1989 recital in Barcelona, Spain.

Franz L. Heinig claims that Pavarotti, who lives in Monaco, and Leone Magiera, Raoul Ostorero and an Italian company called CIME agreed to sell him the audio and video rights to the concert for 200 million Italian lira. But, the suit contends, they knew all along that Pavarotti’s contract with Decca Records already gave those rights to the record company.

Pavarotti and his associates couldn’t be reached, but we bet this one won’t be over until the rotund one sings.

STRIKE THAT, YOUR HONOR: From our “never mind” files comes the case of former Miss USA Shannon Marketic, spanked by a judge to the tune of $15,000 for filing frivolous lawsuits in her sex-slave dispute with the sultan of Brunei and his brother, Prince Jefri.


Marketic had accused Sultan and sib of luring women to the oil-rich kingdom for sex, but her U.S. District Court lawsuit was dismissed last year because the defendants were protected by diplomatic immunity. She subsequently sued several companies affiliated with the Brunei royals.

The Pepperdine grad and former Miss California claimed she was hired as a “spokesmodel,” but was held captive for 32 days while various men tried to get her to have sex.

U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall tossed out the suits against three companies Marketic claimed had helped the Brunei royals lure women to their party pad. The judge ordered Marketic instead to pay each of the companies $5,000. Among the corporate entities Marketic had sued was Sajahtera Inc., parent company of the Beverly Hills Hotel.

THE EX FILES: After 18 years of legal separation, those irreconcilable differences continue to haunt the Sheik and Sheika Al-Fassi. She has filed for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court, asking that her name be restored to Diana Bilinelli. Court papers say the couple, married in 1975, have not lived together since 1981.


The couple were known back in the days of disco for their decadent lifestyle--including a garishly bright mansion, complete with anatomically correct statuary, off Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

AND MORE EX FILES: Sad to say, the magic is gone. Leslie Anderson, wife of actor Harry Anderson, has filed papers in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking an end to their 11-year marriage.

Harry Anderson, who started as a stage magician, made a few guest appearances on “Cheers,” and went on to star in the television shows “Night Court” and “Dave’s World.”

Leslie Anderson, who now lives in Washington state, is seeking joint custody of the couple’s son, Dashiel, who lives with his father in Pasadena, court papers say. She cites the usual irreconcilable differences and says the couple separated April 1.