LOS ANGELES, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Rodney Dangerfield's wife filed a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles against the late comic's daughter for videotaping his act for personal profit.
Joan Child Dangerfield alleges in the lawsuit filed Wednesday that Melanie Roy-Friedman, Rodney Dangerfield's daughter from a previous relationship, tricked her father in 1988 into allowing her to tape his Las Vegas show, which he "zealously guarded," the lawsuit states.
Honed over 40 years, the 1-hour act was Dangerfield's "masterpiece," Child Dangerfield said.
The lawsuit said Roy-Friedman claimed she wanted it for personal use, "so that her future children could see it," the New York Post reported. "Relying upon that representation, Rodney trusted his daughter and allowed her to videotape the act," a news release from Child Dangerfield's law firm states.
The comic's wife said Roy-Friedman pretended to give him the master copy when she actually kept it the original.
Although Roy-Friedman registered the videotape with the U.S. Copyright Office several months after Dangerfield's death in 2004, the lawsuit said she was not an author or owner of the material. Child Dangerfield wants to stop any further unauthorized use.