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Salomone v. Macmillan Publishing Company

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
77 A.D. 2d 501 (1980)


Facts

Alphonse W. Salomone (plaintiff) sued the Macmillan Publishing Company (publisher) (defendant) for libel in the publication of an updated parody version of the children’s literary classic Eloise, entitled Eloise Returns. Salomone was the real-life manager of the Plaza Hotel where the children’s character adventured. In the updated parody, which is four pages in a book entitled The First Collection of Humor by Women, Eloise is now 26, still lives at the Plaza Hotel, and has grown into a sophisticated, uninhibited, and sexy young woman. The parody features Salomone’s name on the cover that depicts a mirror with lipstick-scrawled graffiti that, among other things, says: “Mr. Salomone was a child molester!!” Salomone contended libel per se. The publisher, asserting the defense of humor, moved for summary judgment. The trial court found that whether the work was a parody was a question for the jury and denied the publisher’s motion for summary judgment. The publisher appealed and argued that summary judgment should be granted because Salomone has suffered no damages that are compensable in law.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Memorandum Decision)

Concurrence (Kupferman, J.)

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