June 23, 2009 / 11:02 PM / 10 years ago

TV's Hasselbeck accused of plagiarizing diet book

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, co-host of "The View", smiles backstage before the start of the "Snoopy In Fashion" Spring 2008 show during New York Fashion Week September 7, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - Elisabeth Hasselbeck, conservative co-host of ABC’s “The View,” is being sued over accusations her best-selling diet book plagiarized another author’s work.

Cape Cod author Susan Hassett filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Hasselbeck in Massachusetts federal court this week, saying parts of the book, “The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide,” were lifted from a book Hassett had written on the same subject.

Hassett claims she mailed Hasselbeck a copy of her self-published book, “Living with Celiac Disease,” in April 2008 because she wanted to help Hasselbeck spread awareness on her television show about the condition, which involves an intolerance to gluten, a component of wheat, rye and barley.

Hasselbeck’s book, which made it to The New York Times best seller list, was published in May and “includes dozens of paraphrased as well as word-for-word regurgitations of phrases and scrupulously researched factual data entries” from Hassett’s book, according to Hassett’s complaint.

Hassett is also suing Hasselbeck’s publisher, Center Street Hachette, and her ghost-writer, whose identity is unidentified. She is seeking compensation for profits made from Hasselbeck’s book and asks for the book be removed from distribution

Phone calls to Hasselbeck’s office at Walt Disney Co-owned ABC were not immediately returned.

Reporting by Erin Kutz; Editing by Jason Szep and Eric Walsh

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