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'Yogasm' offends Berra

2/1/2005 - New York Yankees

NEW YORK -- Hall of Famer Yogi Berra has filed a $10 million
lawsuit against TBS, claiming the cable television network sullied
his name by using it in a racy advertisement for its "Sex and the
City" reruns.

Berra's papers, filed in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, say
the Turner Broadcasting System Inc. ad, which has appeared on buses
and in subways, caused "severe damage to his reputation" with its
reference to Kim Cattrall's sexually promiscuous character,
Samantha.

The offending ad, Berra's court papers say, queried readers
about the definition of "yogasm." Possible definitions: (a) a
type of yo-yo trick, (b) sex with Yogi Berra and (c) what Samantha
has with a guy from yoga class. The answer is (c).

The reference to the sexual act made in connection with Berra
"engenders a moral taint that has damaged his otherwise spotless
reputation," say his court papers, filed last week and posted on
thesmokinggun.com Web site.

The 79-year-old Berra "is a married man and has children and
grandchildren," his court papers say. "He is a deeply religious
man who has maintained and continues to maintain a moral lifestyle
and has a spotless reputation for integrity, decency and moral
character."

Berra's lawyer Lewis Smoley, said he was told TBS stopped
running the ad last August. Nevertheless, he said, he wants the
court to order the superstation to never run the ad again.

The Berra suit seeks $5 million on each of two causes of action:
commercial use of his name without permission and unjust enrichment
by use of his name without permission.

A spokeswoman for TBS, based in Atlanta, said Tuesday: "We do
not comment on litigation."

Berra, a catcher for the New York Yankees from 1946-63 who lives
in Montclair, N.J., is one of baseball's most beloved and quotable
characters. He also managed the Yankees and the New York Mets to
pennants.