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Court to Knievel: 'Pimp' is compliment

Jan. 5, 2005 at 3:47 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A caption on ESPN's Web site that called Evel Knievel a "pimp" most likely was intended as a light-hearted compliment, a federal appeals court ruled.

The 66-year-old daredevil and his wife sued the TV network for an April 2001 caption that said, "Evel Knievel proves that you're never too old to be a pimp," with a picture of Knievel. The stuntman was on his motorcycle with his arms around his wife, Krystal, and another woman, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The Knievels said they were libeled by the caption and Knievel lost work after the caption appeared. However, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, on a 2-1 vote Tuesday, upheld a federal judge's dismissal of the suit.

In context, the caption "was most likely intended as a compliment," Judge A. Wallace Tashima said in citing one definition of pimp as being someone who is "cool." Any reasonable reader would have considered the word "an attempt at humor," the judge said of the court's ruling.

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