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Friday, 14 April, 2000, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Bo Diddley fights Nike
Bo Diddley
Diddley: taking on footwear giants Nike
Legendary blues star Bo Diddley is suing footwear giant Nike over claims it used his name and image without permission.

The 71-year-old musician alleges the US firm has made more than $200,000 (125,000) from the sale of T-shirts carrying the slogan "You don't know Diddley".

Diddley, real name Elias McDaniel, made the claim in a suit lodged at a federal court in Manhattan, New York.

He is seeking an unspecified amount of compensation and punitive damages.


Nike logo
Diddley claims Nike owe him money
"I'm sorry that it's come to this, but what's right is right," he said in a statement.

The performer, best known for songs like Bo Diddley, Hey Good Lookin' and Who Do You Love, featured in a series of US TV commercials for Nike more than a decade ago, alongside athlete Bo Jackson.

The suit claims he entered into a two-year agreement with the company in 1989 and as part of the deal it produced T-shirts featuring his likeness.

Deal

Diddley says they never signed a new deal, but he learned last year that the T-shirts were on sale again in stores and over the internet without his permission.

He alleges that nearly 28,000 shirts were sold worldwide for more than $200,000 (125,000).

Nike's director of Global Issues Management, Vada Manager, said the Oregon-based company were aware of the lawsuit but had not yet seen it.

He added that they were in the process of negotiating with Diddley's lawyers and had offered a royalty payment of between $10,000 and $15,000 (6,000 - 9,000).



"This is a clear case of the big bully picking on the little guy. Apparently Nike really doesn't know Diddley."

Bo Diddley's manager, Margo Lewis
But one of Diddley's representatives, John Rosenberg, insisted: "We rejected their proposal. We have had no communication with them in about a month.

"We stand by the lawsuit and we intend to proceed."

Diddley's manager Margo Lewis added: "This is a clear case of the big bully picking on the little guy. Apparently Nike really doesn't know Diddley."

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13 Jan 00 | Entertainment
Nike's DIY television ads
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