Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse and magazine mogul Martha Stewart have been named in a multi-million dollar lawsuit over a line of knives this week.
- (Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
Both television personalities were named in the suit, which seeks $2 million, because Stewart's company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, owns the line of cutlery for which Lagasse serves as pitchman.
Lagasse has been selling the Wusthof kitchen knives on the Home Shopping Network since Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia announced that it had acquired the rights to all Emeril cookware in 2008.
The Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid, which owns the Solingen name, filed the lawsuit this week, according to TMZ. They claim that the knives are misleading and rip off of the Solingen name, as they are emblazoned with "Solingen, Germany" on the blade.
Since the product imitates the Solingen product, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce added that the Wusthof kitchen knives cause customers to believe the blades were manufactured by their world-famous brand.
The suit indicated that Stewart and Lagasse are responsible for "cheap knock-offs made in China," TMZ reported.
Strengthening the case against Stewart and Lagasse, online reviews of the knives offered on the Home Shopping Network include complaints about rusting and breaking as well as several other negative remarks.
"I strongly advise people to get GOOD knives," posted one Amazon shopper, Joanna.
"I would not recommend these knives. Almost all of the handles broke within 6 months of use, either in the dishwasher or when dropped," Airheart wrote.
In response to the media's report of a lawsuit, the Wusthof company emailed a statement to The Christian Post on Friday clarifying their involvement.
"Wüsthof is not connected to or named in a current lawsuit initiated by the Solingen Chamber of Congress in Solingen, Germany against Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse and Home Shopping Network," said the company. "Wüsthof is not in any way associated with incorrectly marketing cutlery with the Solingen Decree."
The kitchen knife producers also noted that the Emeril 8-piece German steel knife offered at HSN was the item named in the suit, and that Wusthof no longer distributed that knife.
"Wüsthof ended its affiliation with Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart Omni Living in early 2010," continued the company. "When Wüsthof's partnership with Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart was active, the co-branded Wüsthof and Emeril Lagasse cutlery was manufactured in Solingen, Germany. Cutlery that is currently branded as Emeril is not manufactured or distributed by Wüsthof."