Elisabeth Hasselbeck sued for plagiarizing gluten-free diet book


Elizabeth Hasselbeck is being sued! There’s this woman, Susan Hassett, who claims that Hasselbeck “stole” her book idea. The book idea that was allegedly stolen isn’t what I was hoping for – something political or something sappy, about being the perfect Republican family or something. Instead, the book idea that Hasselbeck “stole” is about Celiac Disease – otherwise known as some kind of extreme wheat allergy, to the point where wheat consumption damages the small intestine. It’s a really serious thing that can effect everyone from newborns to full-grown adults, and it can make life hell.

Hasselbeck has Celiac Disease, and she published The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide, which was sort of a cookbook/handbook. Hasselbeck even has a website about being “g-free”. Unfortunately for Elisabeth, Susan Hassett wrote a book called Living With Celiac Disease a couple of years before Hasselbeck “wrote“ her book. At first I thought this was no big deal, that Celiac Disease has gotten more exposure, and more people are writing about it, and of course some of the books are going to sound similar. Turns out, not so much. Hasset sent Hasselbeck a copy of her book thirteen months before Hasselbeck published her book, which seems to be nearly identical to Hasset’s book. TMZ has the rundown of the plagiarism and copyright infringement, and they also have a copy of the letter Hasset sent Elisabeth:

Elisabeth Hasselbeck ripped off a woman by plagiarizing her disease material — so claims Susan Hassett, who fired off a letter to “The View” host just before suing her.

We obtained the letter — in which Susan claims she sent Elisabeth a book called “Living with Celiac Disease” back in April of ’08. Thirteen months later, Susan says Hasselbeck published the same book with a new title: “The G Free Diet -A Gluten Free Survival Guide.” Yes, the title sucks.

Susan compares chapters and lines. Here are some highlights.

Susan’s Book Chapter 1: What is Celiac Disease?
Hasselbeck Chapter 2: What is Celiac Disease?

Susan’s tips: “Shop in the outer isles of the supermarket.”
Hasselbeck’s tips: “Food in the outer isles of the supermarket.”

And the comparisons go on and on.

Susan just sued Elisabeth for copyright infringement and plagiarism.

[From TMZ]

This incident seems a lot like the whole Jessica Seinfeld-plagiarism scandal, where Jessica Seinfeld pretty much stole an entire cookbook from a woman, all about how to make food fun for kids. Hasset is accusing Elizabeth of stealing her general idea for gluten-free life, as well as the actual ideas, text and life-remedies contained in the book. Don’t these people know that they’ll be found out? Or is it our fault for thinking Elisabeth was actually capable of writing a book?


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39 Responses to “Elisabeth Hasselbeck sued for plagiarizing gluten-free diet book”

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  1. Praise St. Angie! says:

    nope, she plagiarized it probably thinking no one would know.

    doesn’t she basically just repeat the Fox News talking points on the view? and then cry when the other women point out the lies/fraud of what she’s saying because she’s not able to successfully argue a point?

    it’s clear she can’t come up with an intelligent political argument on her own, so what makes you think that writing a book would be any different?

  2. n says:

    not a very upstanding thing to do for someone who poses on TV as such an upstanding person belonging to the Republican party.

    just sayin…

  3. princess pee says:

    Damn, why you gotta make me defend Hasselbeck?
    The first “evidence” is totally dumb. Any book about Celiac Disease is going to include a chapter called “What is Celiac Disease?” and so will a handful of websites, I’m sure.
    also: “Hasset is accusing Elizabeth of stealing her general idea for gluten-free life”… Well. Again, if Hasselbeck is actually suffering from Celiac Disease, she probably already has a general idea about gluten free life.
    I mostly believe the story as a whole, but the examples are terribly weak.

  4. justathought says:

    If i wrote a book on golden retrievers or how to cook eggs…wouldn’t the same ideas be used? Let’s face it, unless these books are matched exact word for word, S. Hassett does not have a case. Any subject or biography could be referred as “plagiarized”. Hasslebeck’s book may actually be written with much more appeal. Reality hurts.

  5. bros says:

    the similarities are pretty notable when you visit tmz’s copy of the whole letter. looks like she made some quick cuts and pastes and rewording and slapped a cover on it with her prissy face and sold it as her own, when someone else did all the legwork. its structured nearly exactly the same and has the same catch phrases and its too convenient. she is a twit and i hope she ends up paying for it.

  6. Dromedary says:

    On another note, what is that ridiculous face she’s making on the cover all about?

  7. wow says:

    Co-signing w/Princess Pee & Just A Thought.

  8. Sauronsarmy says:

    Can I sue her for being an annoying c*nt? I don’t want money I just want to punch her in her vagina. Thats not asking for much.

  9. BlueSkies says:

    Dromedary, that’s the face that anyone looks good making. See Jennifer Aniston post today. The best you’ve ever seen her look. Miley makes these faces also. If you need a good pic of yourself; make that face.

  10. TaylorB says:

    I don’t generally take medical advice from ‘Survivor’ contestants, I tend to lean towards actual experts with pesky old science and facts to back them up, so I think I will pass on her BS ‘book’ be it stolen or not.

    Beyond that that woman is a first class dingbat. I suspect that the Dem party is happy that she is a Rep, who in their right mind would want her as their ‘voice’ to the people? I still don’t understand how being on ‘survivor’ qualifies her for, well… anything.

  11. Neelyo says:

    Hasselback probably didn’t do a thing on that book. I can’t believe she’s capable of cooking let alone writing a recipe. There was probably a lazy ghost writer who did all of the cutting and pasting, Lizzie wrote a fun, perky intro and took that painfully obnoxious cover photo. I hope the author wins the case.

  12. Diana says:

    I see settlement in her future.

  13. Celebitchy says:

    Read the PDF of the complaint on TMZ’s website. It’s not the “general idea,” it’s exact wording, chapter titles, and more than coincidental ideas and concepts. It looks like Hasselbeck lifted quite a bit from this other book.

  14. Aspen says:

    I really hate when people do this. She’s already rich and famous. Why would she steal from this author rather than help her reap the benefits of wealth and recognition for her book?

    Same with Seinfeld’s wife. I felt the same way there.

    It’s not just theft when celebrities steal. It’s something mealy and arrogant on top of the theft…and it makes me so mad. If she really stole this book, I hope this lady legally nails Hasselbeck to the wall.

  15. danielle says:

    Hahahaha! I don’t know if this lawsuit has merit or not, but I’m very amused because Hasselbeck annoys me so very, very much.

  16. Annie says:

    pesky old science and facts to back them up

    I know, how silly of us, we should clearly learn from this and take our tips from Hasselback. I mean, obviously she’s an authority.

    That being said, is it awful that I somehow want to find a way to slip a baguette into her morning coffee….

  17. jillie says:

    i have celiac. i would never take advice from EHasselbeck; just as no one should take advice from Jenny McCarthy.

  18. Vic says:

    I don’t like to defend Hasselbeck, but I read the tmz documents and as someone with celiac’s disease, I can report that a lot of the information and tips that Hasset is claiming are original and her own are neither. They are par for the course recommendations or information that you can find from multiple different sources on celiac’s disease. For example, claiming that plagiarism on a list of symptoms of a disease is absolutely ridiculous. There is some overlap on wording but it seems minor to me. Anyways, I thought I read that Hasselbeck had a ghostwriter?

  19. JR Castle says:

    Is she guilty or innocent? Too close to call; you have to hit on many of the same facts when you write about the same subject… The lawyer has made some typos; he may not be too good at handling the details and he will be up against some serious legal power. The smoking gun may be the proof that this was sent to Ms. Hasselbeck last year. But how do you prove she actually read the information without a witness.

  20. Feebee says:

    The headline alone just made me smile. I haven’t read the TMZ info yet but I hope it’s more than just chapter titles as the two examples won’t cut it. Anyone on ANY diet should shop the outside (ie fresh items) of the supermarket so that’s hardly new.

    I hope this Hasset woman can make a case but if not has fun making Hasselbeck’s life messy and miserable for a while (I know I’m a bitch).

    Whatever happened to Jessica Seinfeld’s case? Now that definitely looked like plagiarism.

  21. lilmiss says:

    you mean she isnt even bright enough to reword chapter titles, etc? Too funny!

    I cannot stomach her.

  22. eggy weggs says:

    >>Susan’s tips: “Shop in the outer isles of the supermarket.”
    Hasselbeck’s tips: “Food in the outer isles of the supermarket.”<<

    Ummm, aren’t they “aisles”? Or are “isles” the gluten-free parts of the grocery store?

    Either way, I am so tired of these asshole celebs stealing from legitimate writers. It’s no joke to write a cookbook! I hope they string this harpie up.

  23. Zoe (The Other One) says:

    Is this daft b1tch not done with p1ssing people off yet. She needs a good hard kick in her lady garden.

  24. h00bydice says:

    Miss Elizabeth has the hubris to believe that she can get away with anything, because so far she has. Original thinking is not her forte. She espouses her lemming-derived drivel during a kaffeeklatsch, incites and insults and just gets paid more money for the privilege. What a country!!

  25. L says:

    eggy weggs, that’s a good point…if they both misused the word isles, instead of aisles as you pointed out that it should be, then that would be very favorable evidence for Sue Haskett.

  26. Wow, who knew Elizabeth could look so hot. When I first glanced at the picture on the outside I thought it was Hayden Panettiere.

  27. dj says:

    i agree with PRINCESS PEE:

    Maybe Hasselbeck did steal ideas, but those examples were extremely weak. She must have some better goods to take in-front of a judge because that is not convincing.

  28. jaudicemachine says:

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person . . .

  29. anastasiabeaverhausen says:

    HA! I enjoy this story very much.

  30. Yae says:

    Stealing when you’re already rich is just as low as it gets….

  31. drm says:

    I always thought she was an arrogant airhead, now we can add plagiarising liar as well…

  32. Jazz says:

    This story makes me smile. 🙂

  33. JR Castle says:

    Did anyone see The View today…she attemped to address the issue…I think she was being dishonest…her body language gave her away [excess blinking, holding her hands in front of her for protection, and a look of shame.] I guess we will have to see how it plays out in the courts.

  34. Passing by says:

    Kaiser…you said, “…otherwise known as some kind of extreme wheat allergy, to the point where wheat consumption damages the small intestine.”

    FYI: celiac is an autoimmune disease in that your body ends up attacking itself. Celiac is actually not an allergy. Although the symptoms may feel similiar the actual affects on the body are different. Apart from wheat, gluten is also found in rye, barley, triticale.

    Sauronsarmy…please don’t be so crass. You can dislike someone but you discredit yourself by resorting to name calling. K?

    As for whether Ms. Hassett claim is legitimate, let’s wait for a judge to decide. As I writer and someone familiar with copyright issues, I can tell you that although ideas can be hard to copyright, if there is a paper trail and a clear collection of ideas, the women may indeed have a case. From what I understand, Elisabeth apparently had a ghost writer, so it may be that person on the hook. We have to wait and see. May the honest person prevail.

    As for spelling mistakes this woman is being attacked for, it is unfortunate but it doesn’t mean her claim has no merit. We all make spelling mistakes…let me show you my writing!

  35. montandersen says:

    Elizabeth obviously has more on the ball than the rest of you that sit in your computer chairs & judge her! Why so hateful? Elizabeth is an amazingly strong, beautiful woman. She is under attack daily & holds her own! I wish her the best!

  36. JR Castle says:

    I was standing when I wrote this?

  37. Gluten free lifestyle is not only for people with celiac, it can be good for you too.

  38. I watched already TMZ on T.V and I really like their shows. Hasselbeck has Celiac Disease and now she releases his book Gluten – Free guide and surely she have already a tip on it. By the way, what is Celiac Disease?

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