Suing over Ellen
It’s a cartoon conundrum!
A 32-year-old Park Slope artist has sued a New York cartoon maker making a mint off of the Cartoon Network show “Ellen’s Acres,” claiming that while she designed the title character’s look, she’s not received any royalties.
In a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court last week, Kelly Denato claims she had a long-standing contract with Animation Collective Inc. when they commissioned her to draw Ellen for the children’s book “Ellen’s 11-Star Spectacular Super Deluxe Hotel” back in 2006.
On top of the $9,000 she was paid, her contract — which was first drafted in 2002 — assured that she would receive 25 percent of “all revenues stemming from book sales, merchandising and animated motion pictures.”
That same year, Denato’s Ellen became the lead character of “Ellen’s Acres” on Cartoon Network, but the Park Slope doodler hasn’t seen any money from her character’s success, she charged.
The suit accuses Animation Collective Inc. with selling or licensing the rights of her artwork to Cartoon Network, which went on to create 52 episodes of the show, but not giving Denato a dime.
While Ellen is nowhere near as popular as “Dora The Explorer” there has been some merchandising of the product. Just recently, Apple approved an Ellen application for the iPad, the lawsuit noted.
Neither Cartoon Network or Animation Collective Inc. commented on the lawsuit, although a step taken back in 2006 could shed some light on their guilt.
When it appeared that Ellen was going to be a hit, they encouraged Denato to re-negotiate her contract.
“If 25 percent was too much for them, they should have thought about that ahead of time,” Denato’s attorney Roy Locke told our sister publication, The Wall Street Journal.
Foxy flash of anger
Raunchy-rapper Foxy Brown landed in Brooklyn criminal court once again last week, answering allegations that she violated an order of protection by “flashing” Prospect Heights neighbor and long-time rival Arlene Raymond.
During a brief arraignment on Thursday, Brown, whose real name is Inga Marchand, pled not guilty to the charges and was released on $5,000 bail.
According to court records, Brown had left her home on July 21 when she saw Raymond, whose had a restraining order against her since 2007, when she accused the rapper of pelting her with a BlackBerry.
After some nasty stares, Brown allegedly blew up at the other woman and began calling her names.
“Bitch! What are you looking at,” she said. “What the f--- are you looking at?”
Brown then lifted her skirt, “exposing herself” to Raymond, according to a spokesman for Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes.
Raymond called police, who charged Brown with criminal contempt for violating an order of protection that prevents her from having any contact with her neighbor.
If convicted of the charges, Brown could face seven years in jail — a place she’s been before.
Raymond’s assault case against Brown is pending, but that same year she was sentenced to a year in jail after she violated her probation for attacking a Manhattan manicurist in 2004 by moving to her mother’s home in New Jersey.
During her stint in prison, Brown was thrown in solitary confinement for 76 days when she began fighting with other inmates and refused to take a random drug test.
She was released from prison in April, 2008.
Bruce Baron, Brown’s attorney, said the rapper plans to fight the charges.
“This case will exemplify that orders of protection should be used as shields and not as swords,” he explained.
More troubles for Lebovits
Add another name to convicted sex offender Baruch Lebovits’ long list of victims — his own son, who was nearly accused of following in his father’s footsteps last week.
Prosecutors said 61-year-old Orthodox garment manufacturer Simon Taub was arrested for trying to extort $50,000 from the kin of the former cantor convicted of molesting a 16-year-old back in 2006.
If he didn’t get the money, Taub threatened to send his own son to the police and lodge a sex abuse complaint against Lebovits’ son — who’s name we’re withholding.
The younger Lebovits’ beat Taub to the punch by reporting the extortion first, prosecutors said.
Taub was released on $50,000 bail. His attorney, Ben Liebermann, said his client denies the charges.
Last week’s arrest is yet another chapter in the ongoing story on Lebovits and his alleged misdeeds.
Since his conviction, several of his former students have come forward, claiming the cantor had sexually abused him, although in many of these cases the allegations are too old to be prosecuted.
Lebovits’ attorney, Arthur Aidala, said these allegations were only made when it was learned that Lebovits’ son had won the lottery in Israel and had become a multi-millionaire.