by William Moultrie
Washington DC – Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), has filed suite against E*Trade Financial Corp for $1 million, alleging that his name and likeness were used in the form of a baby girl in one of the firm’s recent commercials.
Graham’s lawyers contend that E*Trade improperly invoked his “likeness, name, characterization and personality” without permission, violating his right of privacy.
Actress and socialite Lindsay Lohan filed a similar suit on Monday.
Graham’s lawsuit asks for $1 million in damages compared to Lohan’s claim of $100 million. Graham wouldn’t comment on his or Lohan’s lawsuits, but observers suspect the disparity is a matter of their relative cost of living.
“Lindsey Graham is a single guy living in DC working for the government,” said Arthur Astrid, gossip columnist for the Wall Street Journal. “His expenses are few and it probably wouldn’t even occur to him or his lawyers to ask for more. Lindsay Lohan’s lawyers, on the other hand, are unlikely to even bring a case if there’s not going to be a multi-million dollar commission in it for them.”
The commercial in question involved the eponymous “E*Trade baby” who’s apparently just had a “sleep-over” with a baby named “Lindsey (or Lindsay)” much to the chagrin of the baby’s significant other with whom he’s having a video chat. The significant other at one point inquires about “that milkaholic Lindsey,” to which the “Lindsey” in the commercial replies “Milka-what?”
Graham’s lawyers dismissed Lohan’s claim as spurious.
“Clearly this ad was a direct attack on a sitting United States Senator, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina,” said Franklin Wapner, one of Graham’s lawyers. “My client sits on several committees that have jurisdiction over areas in which E*Trade works and we find this completely inappropriate. That angle will be pursued by the Senate itself, but we are here to bring a civil action. Senator Graham is emphatic that he neither engages in sleep-overs or that he has a problem with milk. He, like most Americans, occasionally has a glass with dinner, and at social events.”
Lohan’s lawyers were not available for a response.