Wednesday, November 28, 2007
EVEL KNIEVEL, KANYE WEST SETTLE LAWSUIT
TAMPA, Fla. — Evel Knievel and Kanye West have worked it out.
The 69-year-old iconic motorcycle daredevil said he and West met at his Clearwater condo recently. They settled a federal lawsuit over the use of Knievel's trademarked image in a popular West music video.
Knievel sued West and his record company last year. He took issue with a 2006 music video for the song "Touch the Sky," in which the rapper takes on the persona of "Evel Kanyevel" and tries to jump a rocket-powered motorcycle over a canyon.
Knievel failed in his attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in 1974.
West's attorneys argued the video amounted to satire, covered under the First Amendment.
"We settled the lawsuit amicably," Knievel said Tuesday. "I was very satisfied and so was he."
They agreed not to publicly discuss the terms of the settlement, he said. The two had agreed to mediation in July.
Gabriel Tesoriero, a spokesman for West, confirmed the settlement of the lawsuit, in an e-mail Tuesday.
In the lawsuit, Knievel claimed the "vulgar and offensive" images depicted in the video damaged his reputation. And he accused the 29-year-old rapper of using the Knievel image to "promote his filth to the world."
Meeting West changed his mind, Knievel said.
"I thought he was a wonderful guy and quite a gentleman," he said.
Knievel also expressed concern for West, who is grieving the sudden death of his mother earlier this month.
"I know he's had some tough times the past few weeks, and I hope things work out," Knievel said.