Pippa Middleton’s royal lawyers actively trying to shut down ‘PippaTips’ parody

In late June, The Mail (and other sites) reported that Pippa Middleton was in the midst of a legal hissy fit, and she was considering an attempt to shut down the parody site “PippaTips”. The Twitter account is a parody of Pippa’s extremely obvious and basic “lifestyle advice” and it was done very well, and it was really funny. So funny that the authors of the parody account were given a book deal, and they published a satirical pregnancy guide, When One is Expecting: A Posh Person’s Guide to Pregnancy and Parenting. The book is selling really well, better than Pippa’s sad little Celebrate book.

Now there are new reports that Pippa really is pursuing legal action against the satirical authors, Mat Morrisroe and Suzanne Azzopardi. Pippa’s lawyers, Harbottle & Lewis, “have written to the book’s publishers, Icon Books, to demand the @Pippatips Twitter account be deleted.” There’s more from The Royalist at The Daily Beast:

PippaTip #1: If people are making fun of you, sue! Disturbing evidence reaches us that Pippa Middleton actually may be as foolish as her book and other writings have sometimes suggested.

In an extraordinarily ill-judged move, Miss Middleton Jr. has launched legal action against the creators of the spoof Twitter account @Pippatips, who also have written a book off the back of their 50,000-follower Twitter hit.

Some WAGs are suggesting that Middleton—who initially attempted to laugh off criticism of her book, saying she might produce a sequel called Bottoms Up—may have finally lost her sense of humour, because the @PippaTips book is outselling her own (on those famously reliable Amazon charts, at least). Has she never heard of the Streisand effect?

The move is all the more extraordinary, as Middleton previously attempted to appear unconcerned by the @Pippatips crew.

Writing the weekly diary for The Spectator in December, Middleton said the spoof Twitter account—which offers advice such as “enjoy a glass of water by getting a clean glass and pouring in water from a tap or bottle”—was “all good fun.”

An intriguing element of the new legal letter, however, is that the action is being coordinated by the royal family’s own lawyers, Harbottle and Lewis, who are now also Middleton’s lawyers.

They have written to the book’s publishers, demanding that the book, the work of writers Mat Morrisroe and Suzanne Azzopardi, be pulped and the Twitter account deleted.

The book was published June 12, and it is thought the complaint was received soon after. Noticeably, the @Pippatips account has not tweeted since June 14.

One of the most common methods to suppress a parody in the U.K. is to accuse the author of “passing off” their own work as the work of the person being mocked. But any “passing off” action would seem doomed to failure, as the Twitter account states it is “clearly a parody,” and the book states on its front cover that it is by “the creators of @pippatips.”

British publications have been sensitive to allegations of passing off ever since Alan Clark, the British politician and diarist, won a landmark case against the Evening Standard for a spoof column, and it is now generally agreed that it is wise to include an obvious notification that the spoof is not the work of the spoofee.

But it is hard to imagine that this action has been taken by Middleton without consulting her sister, and it does hint at the newly litigious nature of the young royals.

Prince William and Kate Middleton have already proved themselves not averse to attempting to set precedents with their pointless pursuit of a still unidentified French photographer for photographing Kate sunbathing naked in full view of a public road in France.

Undoubtedly Pippa Middleton is annoyed by the book and the Twitter account, but her reaction in issuing legal threats risks making her seem petulant and spoiled. Indeed, it’s hard to think of a more idiotic move for an extended member of the royal family to pull than to launch a legal action that can in no way cast them in a positive light, just days before the nation is due to go into raptures over the new royal baby.

The journalist and writer Sam Leith, who wrote about the row in the Evening Standard in London on Monday, told The Royalist: “It seems to me that there is no doubt she is being badly advised, because even if she succeeds in shutting this down, she will still look silly and oversensitive. It’s not a good fight to pick, because parody, by and large, is protected.”

If Middleton really considers jokes like this a threat to her brand, she may have greater problems than a fake Twitter account. Anyway, as every celebrity knows, the correct response to a fake Twitter account is to be flattered—you ain’t nobody till you’ve got one.

[From The Daily Beast]

I like this take because it’s super-bitchy and anti-Middleton. And it’s dead-on too, because Pippa looks… ridiculous. The PippaTips Twitter is so obviously a parody, and it’s a well-deserved parody too. Pippa made hundreds of thousands of dollars from her book deal, and she has launched herself as some kind of “professional lifestyle writer” with gigs in major magazines. She actively pursues the spotlight, and she is a public figure, ripe for parody. It’s fascinating that Pippa is using the royal lawyers though, isn’t it? It feels like the message being sent is: “William and Kate agree with Pippa’s legal actions, they are anti-free speech and they will all throw hissy fits if you dare to make fun of them.”

Photos courtesy of WENN, PCN.

 

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88 Responses to “Pippa Middleton’s royal lawyers actively trying to shut down ‘PippaTips’ parody”

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  1. Nikollet says:

    I can’t with this chick. Boring famewhore.

  2. Jaime says:

    Awwww. Someone needs to grow a sense of humor! Either that, or quit being a famewhore and generating boring, needless “books.” People won’t feel obligated to mock you if you actually have something decent to say.

  3. Sixer says:

    Every night, before I go to sleep, I pray that a Doctor Who monster will swoop down from the sky and gobble Pippa up. And that the Doctor is too busy to rescue her.

  4. Maddy says:

    I read her piece on Wimbledon and actually thought she must be parodying herself, it was that bad.
    The best thing she could have done in wake of the Celebrate book was poke fun at herself – we love someone who isn’t afraid to laugh at themselves.

  5. phaksi says:

    Its time for HM or Prince Charles to step in and stop the Middletons/Boleyns riding on royal coat tails

  6. Eleonor says:

    If you don’t have sense of humor let you legal team solve the problem #pippatips

  7. PHD Gossip says:

    This stupid legal stunt will get even more press for the parody.

  8. FLORC says:

    I really did like Pippa. She seemed hard working and out to make her own money and be self reliant. Slowly that unraveled and she started believing her own hype. She is trying to put a message out that she’s practically a royal and you can’t mess with her. I hope the lawsuit flops.

  9. Anna says:

    This article is amazing. I was particularly delighted by the “it’s hard to think of a more idiotic move” comment – no punches pulled indeed! Now, when will American press write about celebs in such a way?

  10. PHD Gossip says:

    On another, yet related topic, have we been tricked with Waity’s due date?

    • Miss Thang says:

      I am wondering the same thing! Last I read was the 11th. I know most women go about a week over with their first, but that is about up as well.

    • LAK says:

      Here is the thing….

      It’s not very difficult to find out info about the royals because despite their litigiousness and cutting loose lips from their inner circles, they are still leakier than a sieve.

      The problem, if i may call it that, is that people don’t believe it or they don’t connect the dots because the RF and inner circle is supposed to be water tight. it isn’t.

      This is what we have known for some months;

      -The Palace said it would be July [no specific date].

      -Carole apparently told someone that it may be a Leo baby [Leo dates 23 July - 22 August].

      Further, Camilla told someone earlier this week [or possibly last weekend] that it is expected end of this week [which is very close to the estimated Leo dates]

      To be fair, i suspect that since Kate’s last official public engagement was on 13 June, and there was alot of publicity around the fact that it was her last public engagement before she gave birth, there was an assumed extrapolation from that to 13 July birth date on the part of the media.

      • Anna says:

        Didn’t Princess Victoria (of Sweden) carry out public events till basically her delivery week?

      • TheyPromisedMeBeer says:

        Do you think Kate and the Middleton clan might have jumped the gun on the initial pregnancy announcement/hospital drama in order to distract everyone? As in, she wasn’t as far along as she let on? I’m thinking that’s a factor in this “waiting game” as well.

      • FLORC says:

        This article made a lot of sense for what is probably going on behind the scenes. And the rumors that Kate is already in a hospital somewhere waiting to go into labor to avoid the manic transportation when she does.
        http://katemiddletoncriticism.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/waity-to-be-with-middletons-during-last-days-of-pregnancy/

        TheyPromisedMeBeer
        One of the rumors thought to be likely was Kate drove a long ways from her parent’s home to the hospital all by herself because it would get new attention and bring William back from his hunting trips with friends. Once she got pregnant he was spending far less time with her and much more with his friends. Since the palace didn’t know (or didn’t say they knew) either the only ones that knew were probably her family and William. Since those were the only ones that seem to be in the circle before SJP it makes you go hmmm…

      • LAK says:

        Anne – Indeed AND was back to work as soon as possible.

        no mollycoddling there.

        TheyPromisedMeBeer – I honestly don’t think they jumped the gun regarding the announcement. Their ever reliable leaker tweeted about a BIG announcement to be expected on that date, and lo behold, it was.

      • Thinker says:

        LAK,

        Is it typical royal protocol to announce a pregnancy at 4-6 weeks? That’s terribly early in the world of peasants….

        The fact the Middleton’s paparazzi leaker knew that Kate would be announcing her pregnancy at such an early stage is bizarre. He’s got to be in with their PR reps and promised the exclusives or something. Further, i think its rock hard proof that Kate absolutely consulted with PR in the wake of the Boobgate scandal and was advised to get pregnant and announce it ASAP.

      • LAK says:

        Thinker – It’s not protocol, royal or peasants. I honestly think there was a very good reason for the leak, and having to go to hospital wasn’t it.

        Their pap leaker has been accurate every time for years now. Plus he gets all the exclusive pap shots of them.

        He tweeted ’32 weeks to the day this week since hospital stay’ as of week beginning 15th July. i think we can calculate how far along she was by that piece of info.

        Further, he’s tweeted Thursday [tomorrow] as D-day.

        Finally, about a month ago, he tweeted ‘Royal Berkshire Hospital’ when speculation was rife about where Kate was going to give birth….Kate as far as we know is in Berkshire this week.

        He has also tweeted about the length of time Kate is going to stay with her mother – 4 months.

        If any of this happens as tweeted, it will be further proof as to the source of this information.

      • Thinker says:

        LAK

        Very curious what you think the reason for the early announcement was…

        July 18th is likely the due date then? Or the date that Kate will be induced?

      • LAK says:

        Thinker – i am going to talk from both sides and say that given all that has been leaked, her expected due period is 18th – 23rd.

        If she surpasses that, she will still have 23rd – 31st July to fit in the Leo leak.

        i don’t know whether it’s due date or inducing, but the leaker seems very certain that it’s due date.

      • phaksi says:

        LAK, how stupid is William?! Its common knowledge his beloved Middletons have a pap on speed dial. Doesnt he listen to anyone, his gran, his father, Harry?

    • Thinker says:

      PHD,

      I’ve been thinking the same thing for a while. There was such a push back against Will and Kate this fall, with their skipping out on royal duties and meager public commitments, and with being the most expensive household to maintain even though they constantly insist they do not have staff. Kate was pictured topless during yet another vacation with Will that overlapped with their previous commitments to be Ambassadors for the Special Olympics.

      Consequently I think the early due date had a few key uses. 1.) Distract the unruly press from the topless scandal and the legal kurfluffle that followed; 2.) Garner public sympathy by concocting a “medical emergency” which would “force” poor Kate to announce extremely early. 3.) Bring William home (see FLORC’s post above) 4.) Keep the press waiting… Build the anticipation, build the excitement. By the time the baby finally arrives, the press will be mad for Kate, Will and baby. This is a typical show business technique, the audience always waits for the main event.

      Bonus Points: Kate got to take an early maternity leave and was never pictured beyond the start of her 8th month, which everyone thought was her 9th month. Skinny pregnant!

      • FLORC says:

        Thinker
        Paralympics. Not Special.

        There were rumors that Kate had the Noro Virus when she went to the hospital too. The “Push Kate To Be In The Public Eye” bit also fell in line with her week of 4(?) bump showing events during the boob gate trials. All news outlets covered Kate working and not the court appearances of the photographer and paper. Pretty suspicious.

        Here and there i’ll see a cell pic of my friends in London. Kate has filled out like any normal pregnant women now. I think that’s also reason why she’s not out as often. She’s far from the her last appearance.

  11. Vera says:

    Just started following #PippaTips. Hilarious!

  12. sharron says:

    “working from home is just like working, except you do it from home.

    Any of your homes will do”

  13. Micki says:

    The yound Royals and Pippa should adopt Johnny Depp advice “Never complain, never explain”.
    They appear more ridiculous by the month.
    I know Charles is not greatly loved in UK but may be when the time comes he’ll be warmly greeted as means to postpone Wills and Kate’s reign for some time.

  14. Harriet says:

    It really irritates me that people assume she’s a famewhore. For one, unlike other celebrities that can be quoted she is hardly Leann Rimes granting interviews and magazine fodder. All she does is smile and do what normal twenty something women do, albeit with a camera shoved in her face. I know her ‘work’ isn’t great but I don’t think anyone could handle the attention any better. No matter what she does people will be watching. Simple.

    • Mich says:

      No, she just puts herself out there as the standard we should all try to live up to. And she does a remarkably poor job of it.

      • Harriet says:

        I disagree. I don’t see that at all. At what point does she say publicly, or even on an internet based platform “This is the standard you should all try to achieve, as set by me?”

      • Mich says:

        Um. That is what her silly book and columns in aspirational publications are all about. She is putting herself out there to be judged.

      • Harriet says:

        To me, criticality regarding the quality of her work is fine- its a part of life. It’s the assumptions made about her personality which I really can’t stand. I’m not even a massive fan, I’m just saying that the level of hatred towards her is a little unjustified regarding what she has put out there, which is harmless and far less controversial than many other people.

      • FLORC says:

        What? Pippa never held a gun to anyone’s head to my knowledge, but she metaphorically is with this lawsuit. The message is “stop making fun of me and making money while doing it. I am the sister of the future Queen Consort and should be respected.”
        Pippa isn’t a talented writer. She’s not getting these gigs because people want her advice since her advice is common sense.
        Side note. If Pippa did hold a gun to someone’s head she would possibly laugh hysterically. As she’s shown us before she finds it extremely funny when guns are pointed at other people.

      • Mich says:

        I don’t see any ‘hate’ here at all. This is a gossip site, we come to skinner.

        But I disagree that she isn’t a ‘fame whore’. She has sought celebrity and grabbed every chance to to make herself famous in her own right. She didn’t have to choose this path, it is what she wanted. If it isn’t working out for her, she has only herself to blame.

      • Itsa Reallyme says:

        posted in wrong spot

    • Harriet says:

      LOL! I had forgotten about that incident.

      Look, No matter what she did she would be scrutinized for obvious reasons. A lot of famous people attempt to do awful things and get away with it. The article itself says Middleton said the spoof Twitter account was “all good fun.” Time will tell if the account is shut down but if there is one thing the royal family is good at, it’s taking being mocked with a pinch of salt- so it’s probably not them dishing out the advice.

      • FLORC says:

        Harriet
        Agreed. Time will tell as always. And though other famous people get away with things it’s no free pass for her. I’m interested to see how this all plays out since at it’s core this is the right to satire. I’ve always related brits with being masters of satire. Monty Python, Black Adder, ect…

  15. Turtle Dove says:

    Don’t care about the PippaTips controversy, but that fantastic leather jacket and scarf she’s wearing are gorgeous. It’s the same one that Rosie was wearing a few seasons ago.

  16. Mich says:

    What a moronic and spoiled move. On what possible grounds do they think they have a winnable case?

    Congrats Pips, I used to think you were a little silly and pompous. Now I think you are a great big whiny, entitled bitch. And when you lose this case, I hope a thousand more parodies spring up because you deserve it.

  17. TheyPromisedMeBeer says:

    Next week, dear readers, Pippa and Waitrose will give you the very best recipe for Haterade.

  18. Sloane Wyatt says:

    If Pippa and her royal legal minions shut down the book and the #Pippatips parodies, this ‘princess in law’ will have reset the feudal precedent that peasants are prohibited from poking fun at their betters. Clearly, Pips is the aggrieved victim here of scurrilous defamation and should be allowed to exercise her privilege without reproach.

  19. mslewis says:

    Is this lawsuit for real or is this just another rumor about Pippa? I’m asking because, during Wimbledon, I read a column written by Pippa where she made fun of her PippaTips and she also challenged some famous guy (in England) to a table tennis match. It was a really funny piece and was well-written. I really can’t see where she would be upset enough about any of this to launch a lawsuit. But, what do I know? I’m just an American who thinks Pippa has been treated unfairly but I don’t care enough to really argue the point.

  20. Harriet says:

    ^ She can’t shut down the internet. Calm down peeps!

  21. Thinker says:

    Agree with everyone this makes Pippa look ABSURD. Reminds me of when James Middleton took to writing “cease and desist” letters on his own behalf to websites that criticized him or published his nude photos in the lead up to the royal wedding. The idiot used his own email address to send the letters.

    On a related note: I wonder if Pippa will ever have her own big wedding. Inevitably the press will be there (if it ever happens). Inevitably she’s going to look dumpy in comparison to her sister’s wedding. Almost makes me pity her, but then I realize she’s the one who puts herself out there with a sense of entitlement and ruthlessness, and frankly she deserves to be pulled down a peg or 10.

  22. Bridget says:

    Social climbing is an old, time-honored tradition, but dear lord is Pippa terrible at it. The worst thing she could have possibly done is buy into her own press from 2 years ago. I just want to shake her and tell her to stop trying to be famous.

  23. Holden says:

    And PippaTips just got one more follower…

  24. Decloo says:

    God, her boyfriend is so hunky! And rich.

  25. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    Poor girl. Becoming more unfortunate looking and unlikeable by the day. Bless her heart.
    “If you want people to dislike you, make yourself unlikeable.” #pippatips

  26. The Original Mia says:

    Humorless social climber with no discernable skills, whose only claim to fame is the fact she wore a thong and white dress to her suster’s royal wedding. Please have a seat.

  27. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    Leann Rimes looks like she could be Pippa’s mothers daughter.

  28. Elise says:

    Oh, Pippa, Pippa. You were so likeable, more so than your sister, then you started believing your own b*llsh*t. Are the British so humorless they cannot take a parody? You and your family can display and flash your signet ring all you want; buy the Grade II mansion (but did not get the title that came with it); and emulate the royals by hiring the same services they do, but you still have as much “royal blood” as the man who takes out your garbage. You are not even an “extended member of the royal family” as you do not do any duties for them, with the public’s consent. The problem with Pippa as someone mentioned before, is she wanted to start “on top” and not from the bottom and hone her skills/talents and prove her abilities, and look what that made her. A plea to Pippa/the Middletons: have humility, and be grateful and appreciative of what you have. It’s a better trait to aspire to than a title or social standing.

  29. India says:

    What a jumped up self important pain in the arse she is.

  30. Sachi says:

    Oh, Pippa. PippaTips probably makes Pippa feel like she’s a joke and a laughingstock.

    LOL.

    It took a Twitter parody account to make her finally realize how ridiculous she has been for the past 2 years, buying her own hype and believing the public actually cares and respects her and is interested in her life. Now she’s on damage control because her “brand” is not being taken as seriously as she wants.

    She has most likely realized her book is utter rubbish. Those #pippatips don’t differ from the content of Celebrate except the tweets can be wittier and funnier and obviously not serious.

    All of Pippa’s other articles post-book flop has the same tone: out of touch and condescending, like she truly believes people need to be advised how to make ice cubes.

  31. CC says:

    Seems like someone’s got a stick up her (famous) butt. So she wants a celeb but just want the upsides, and enlists/gets enlisted with her sis’ inlaws lawyers because they don’t want to look ridiculous by association.

    That ship has sailed. The Royal wagon is hitched to the Middlers’ especially with a blood tie ready to pop out.

  32. Amelia says:

    I’ll probably be shot at for saying this, but I like Pippa. I can’t imagine being thrust in the spotlight because of whom your sister married and the way your bum looked on her wedding day. I don’t blame her for trying to capitalize on the publicity and attention. Any career-minded young woman most likely would.

    I think Pippa is attractive and stylish. And I don’t think for one minute those lawyers were hired at her behest. I’m confident the Palace is calling the shots on situations like Pippatips. Pippa seems like a good sport who would go with the flow. The palace, not so much.

    On Duchess Kate’s due date, my OB miscalculated my first child by almost a month. Doctors do make mistakes, so maybe there are no sinister efforts to mislead anyone. It might have been an honest mistake.

    • Kitten Mittens says:

      Amelia
      I’m getting the impression a lot of people thought like you. Here’s a young woman who is close to her sister who married the 2nd in line. She tried to use her rising star post wedding to promote her. Career-minded as you said. All smart moves.

      Here’s where you lose me. The palace is quite good at not commenting on many embarrassments and letting them pass. William is not so good at this and he doesn’t need the Queen’s or his father’s approval to loan out the legal team. For those reasons It’s not as likely to me that the palace is behind this. Or, Pippa could have gone to her brother in law or just sister as asked for help to make people stop making fun of her. As someone stated above Pippa acted as though she was good enough to start at the top and not work her way up. It doesn’t sit well that she isn’t laughing this off at all. Likely because their book sold better than hers. In the end money is a very good motivator.

      As for Kate’s due date. They are not telling us. Nothing is miscalculated and as many posters have pointed out before Diana was induced with William to fit Charles’s polo schedule.

    • Elise says:

      Amelia, I see your point. I still like Pippa (a little) more than Catherine, but when you hear news like this, it leaves some questions. If what you said is true, why is the Palace getting involved? Isn’t Pippa considered a “private citizen?” Did/does the Palace advise/get involved in Mike Tindall, Autumn, Sophie’s family, etc. in the same manner? It has been drilled into us that “Pippa is a private citizen” and that is why she gets to live her life and takes advantage of the opportunities she is given. OK, so Pippatips has made her into a laughingstock, cannot she deal with this matter in a “private” manner without crying off to William and Catherine and having the weight of Harbottle & Lewis behind it? Will this be how it is from now on? What kind of message is the Palace and the Middletons sending to the British public, “parody us at your peril?” Is Pippatips THAT damaging to her “career?” because obviously she is still being given opportunities and she is taking advantage of them.

  33. HalfricanQueen says:

    Oh lord she needs to get over it. You want fame? Well here it is Pipster

  34. Another K says:

    I am not a Pippa fan by any means but on the face of it this is such an obvious public relations disaster that I am wondering if it is a legal action that she is required to take in order to protect her brand? I don’t know how it works in the UK but here in the US you must object to any unauthorized use of your “brand”, no matter how ridiculous, because if you don’t then you are opening up a can of worms and anyone can come in and do what they want with your name. You can’t pick and choose as to who you pursue legally either. If you are aware of the unauthorized use you must respond. If you do not respond then it can then be assumed that you have given the okay that anyone may use your brand without authorization. I’m not describing this very well, I’m not an attorney, but I know it’s the reason why Disney does all those seemingly random cease and desists and the public thinks they are such awful bullies. It’s because they must if they want to keep legal control. There used to be an hilarious blog called Suri’s Burn Book, I don’t know if it is still around, but I always wondered how the author got away with it legally because of all the restrictions.

    Sorry for being so long winded. Maybe there is a lawyer out there in Celebitchy-land that can explain it far better.

  35. HalfricanQueen says:

    I know what you are describing, like when football player tim tebow (sp?) had to sue somebody trying to make money of of his classic “take a knee” pose.. But I THINK you only do that when someone is trying to market something you have previously patented.. Is her name patented? Did they use her legal name on the fake account? Basically I’m confused.