Man Sues Michael Jordan for Looking Like Him
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be a celebrity? We all have at some point. We believe that it might be nice to have the fame, fortune, and adulation of fans. However, it might get old quickly. You wouldn’t necessarily be able to go out and do all of the things that you enjoy doing. You would essentially become imprisoned by your fame. However, that’s the price celebrities have to pay, and most of them know it going into celebrity. What about when you aren’t a famous celebrity, but you still have to deal with people constantly coming up to you because you “look” like a celebrity? Again, it might not seem so bad at first.
The Plaintiff: Celebrity Look Alike
Allen Ray Heckard didn’t like it at all though; at least that’s what he said. In fact, he claims that he hated being the “identical twin” of Michael Jordan. Now, Heckard’s version of being an identical twin and everyone else’s version might be a little different. You see, Heckard is older than Jordan by eight years. He’s also six inches shorter and weighs about 30 pounds less than Jordan. The similarities are very limited.
However, that didn’t stop him from suing Michael Jordan and Phil Knight (founder of Nike) in 2006. He filed a claim against them saying that they were liable for $832 million because people were mistaking him for the famous basketball player. He says that the “high profile lifestyle” caused him injury that will affect him for the rest of his life. He claims that he went through constant public harassment because of the resemblance and that this has taken away any peace of mind he might have known since the basketball player rose to fame.
The Trial: Wait… There was none!
He seemed very determined when he filed his lawsuit, and chances are he thought he would be able to get at least something from the case, even if it was a settlement. However, he abruptly dismissed the case. At first, some thought that perhaps they did settle with Heckard just to get the mess over with, but there’s no evidence that he was paid at all. Nike spokespeople even said as much. They believed that he realized that he would have to pay court costs and that eventually dissuaded him from filing the case.
The Irony: Making It Worse
Heckard claims that he didn’t like to have people mistake him for Michael Jordan, and that it negatively affected his life. Maybe there is an element of truth to that. Yet, by filing the lawsuit in the first place and bringing attention to the resemblance, he will forever have his name associated with Jordan. If he really was sick of people mistaking him for the basketball star, it seems as though he could have used other means to limit that resemblance, such as growing out his hair or growing facial hair, for example. Also, one has to wonder just how many people may have mistaken him for Jordan to have it weigh so heavily on his mind, if that is indeed what happened.
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