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Knievel, rapper settle lawsuit
By KEVIN GRAHAM, Times Staff Writer
Published November 28, 2007
TAMPA - Famed daredevil and Clearwater resident Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel has settled a trademark lawsuit against rapper Kanye West.
"The lawsuit is settled to both our satisfaction," Knievel said Tuesday, declining to discuss the terms.
Brad Rose, a New York-based attorney for West, declined to comment on the settlement.
Knievel filed a lawsuit against West in Tampa federal court in December 2006. He said the rapper's portrayal of him in West's Touch the Sky music video was too close to Knievel's trademark-protected image.
In the video, West dons a white, star-spangled jumpsuit and tries to ride a rocket across a canyon.
Knievel says in court documents that he registered his name as a trademark in 2001. According to the lawsuit, sales of toys and other products bearing his name have grossed more than $300-million.
In addition to West, the suit also named Roc-A-Fella Records and music video director Chris Milk.
The case went to mediation in Tampa on Nov. 7.
On Tuesday, Knievel's attorney filed a notice to dismiss the case without the option of reviving it. Both sides have agreed to pay their own costs and attorneys' fees.
"I found the man to be a congenial gentleman," Knievel said. "I find him to be a very warm and personable guy. He did the right thing."
Knievel also expressed sadness for West's mother, Donda West, who died earlier this month following cosmetic surgery.
"I was very sorry that it had to happen at the time that his mother was having her own difficulty," Knievel said.
Times researcher John Martin contributed to this story.