Bizarre lawsuit connects Apple, US presidents, Oprah Winfrey in conspiracy
The wild accusations from David Louis Whitehead of Bossier, La., are included in a 99-page complaint filed this month in a U.S. District Court in the Western District of Arkansas. Apple is included among a long list of defendants including numerous judges, U.S. presidents, Hollywood studios, celebrities and banks.
Apple's exact role in Whitehead's elaborate tale is unclear, but "Apple Computer Inc." is listed as a defendant that is alleged to have engaged in "outrageous and reckless and extreme acts against the plaintiff, with the massive theft of the plaintiff's copyrighted works, grossing millions if not billions of dollars."
The plaintiff believes much of that money was made as a result of talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, who is accused of promoting "several film projects" based on original writings by Whitehead.
Apparently a prolific writer, Whitehead has penned books, scripts and plays about a broad range of topics. For example, the subject matter of the Iran-Contra affair was apparently covered in his play "The Big Bad Wolf vs. Miss Little Red Riding Hood - The Mike Tyson Story." That fictional play features President George H.W. Bush "going after" boxer Mike Tyson after he makes "racial comments about America." Whitehead believes the elder Bush decided to target him after his play was published.
Whitehead has a long legal history in which he has filed countless lawsuits, many of which are cited in the latest complaint. He also believes that a number of presidents — including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — have appointed judges to sabotage his relentless pursuits through the U.S. court system.
His latest lawsuit alleges that the film "Wag the Dog" infringed on Whitehead's college paper "International Law Regarding the Use of Force and Collective Security: A Comparative Analysis of the Korean and Persian Gulf Wars." Whitehead also claims the concept for the comedy "Austin Powers" was stolen from his original script "A New World." Actor Mike Myers is included in the suit.
Whitehead also believes his original work "God vs. Satan" was stolen by Mel Gibson and Twentieth Century Fox for the film "The Passion of the Christ." And he says rapper Sean "P. Diddy" Combs's idea for the fragrance "I Am King" was taken from his original play entitled "Erykah Badu in Paris With Momma Voodoo."
Also named in the suit are James Cameron, Tyler Perry, Microsoft, Sony, Harvard and Georgetown universities, the Walt Disney Company, Bank of America, Wachovia Bank, Black Entertainment Television, Comcast, and Viacom, to name a few. Whitehead has requested a trial by jury, $5 billion in compensatory damages, and $75 billion in relief.
As a major corporation, Apple is frequently the target of a number of lawsuits, legitimate or otherwise. "Regardless of merit, responding to such claims can consume significant time and expense," the company revealed in its annual Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2009.
In 2009, Apple was hit with a bizarre lawsuit that accused Apple and actress Sarah Jessica Parker of stealing the concepts and names for the iPod and iPhone in the 1980s. That same year, a man alleged in court that Apple conspired with the Italian mafia to secretly track him and transmit threatening messages to his iPod.