New Real Housewives of New York star Leah McSweeney is the founder of the clothing company Married to the Mob. But did the streetwear line find success by copying the style of other brands? RadarOnline.com can exclusively reveal the company has been hit with two lawsuits for copyright infringement since the 2004 launch.
In the first lawsuit obtained from New York District Court, clothing brand Supreme sued McSweeney, 37, and her company LCM Productions, INC on March 8, 2013 for counterfeiting, willful trademark infringement and dilution, as a result of McSweeney’s alleged unauthorized Supreme trademark in connection with counterfeit merchandise.
“Without Plaintiff’s authorization, Defendants are manufacturing, distributing, selling and promoting clothing and accessories that bear the SUPREME trademark throughout the United States,” the complaint read. “The sale and distribution of this infringing merchandise is likely to cause customers to mistakenly believe that Defendants’ products are authorized, sponsored, endorsed or otherwise affiliated with Plaintiff.”
The Plaintiff claimed Defendants’ conduct was “willful, deliberate and intentional.”
In an example, McSweeney added the “vulgar” word “b***h” to the end of the word “Supreme” for hats, a mug, shirt and more items.
“Plaintiff’s entire business model depends upon the manufacture and sale of high quality products bearing its SUPREME trademark and distinctive logo,” the court papers read. “With each day that passes, Plaintiff’s reputation and associated goodwill are irreparably harmed by the sale of Defendants’ counterfeit merchandise which consumers will mistakenly believe is an extension of Plaintiff’s product line. The sale of these infringing products must be stopped or Plaintiff will continue to suffer irreparable hard.”
In McSweeney’s answer to the complaint, she denied the allegations against her and claimed, “Plaintiff has been aware of Defendants’ use of the SUPREME BITCH Legend on T-shirts for nearly nine years and has acquiesced in such use.”
The complaint was dismissed with prejudice in June 2013.
Then on November 3, 2015, photographer Joshua Separzadeh sued Married to the Mob for copyright infringement.
“Defendant MTTM’s product titled, ‘Slugz Cropped Crewneck’ complaint a blatant unauthorized derivative of Plaintiff’s Photograph,” the complaint read. “Defendant MTTM’s product titled, ‘Slugz Tee,’ contains the same unauthorized derivative use of Plaintiff’s Photograph. Defendants have profited from their unauthorized derivative uses of Plaintiff’s Photograph.”
Married to the Mob denied the allegations in the Answer to the Complaint and requested the case be dismissed.
The case was dismissed with prejudice in May 2017.
McSweeney used the $75,000 settlement from a lawsuit with the New York Police Department to start the clothing line.
As Radar reported, court papers obtained from New York District Court revealed McSweeney sued the City of New York, the NYPD, the Commissioner of the NYPD and four officers on October 5, 2004.
In the complaint, she explained how she was “lawfully” standing outside of the Hammerstein Ballroom on July 4, 2002 with her then-boyfriend Daniel Leff and other friends.
When she kissed her boyfriend goodbye, she felt him “being rapidly pulled from her by several individuals, whom she recognized to be uniformed police officers.”
“Plaintiff next saw several police officers pulling, dragging, and repeatedly striking Mr. Leff several feet in front of her,” the court papers claimed. “Plaintiff, who had been holding a small, near-empty or empty plastic water bottle, excitedly hoisted said plastic bottle in the air… the bottle landed in the vicinity of the police officers who were assaulting Mr. Leff.”
She claimed one of the officers lunged at her and “struck her in the face with his fist and/or some other object, causing injury, including, but not limited to a fractured tooth, bruises and contusions.”
McSweeney then accused the three officers of “assailing Plaintiff with profanity and threats of physical force.”
In September of 2002, she was exonerated of all charges, as was her then-boyfriend, she claimed.
She claimed being “wrongfully confined to a holding cell” led her to suffer “extreme physical and emotional distress.”
The City denied the allegations and claimed, “any injuries alleged to have been sustained resulted from Plaintiff’s own culpable or negligent conduct and was not the proximate result of any defendant City.”
McSweeney joined RHONY following Bethenny Frankel’s departure.