Veteran daredevil Evel Knievel is suing rapper Kanye West for trademark infringement over a music video that depicts the Grammy-winning recording star as "Evel Kanyevel" trying to jump a canyon on a rocket vehicle.
The lawsuit, filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida, says Knievel's image was tarnished by the "vulgar, sexual and racially charged nature" of West's video for his hit single "Touch the Sky," which co-stars actress Pamela Anderson.
"He's just a disgrace to me," Knievel, 68, a resident of Clearwater, Florida, told Reuters in a telephone interview on Tuesday. "What a cheap shot. What a cheap, two-bit shot."
Neither West, 29, nor his representatives were immediately available for comment.
The lawsuit claims West, his Roc-A-Fella Records label and the video's director infringed on Knievel's trademark-protected name and likeness by depicting West as a stunt performer named "Evel Kanyevel," who dresses in a star-spangled, "V"-striped white jumpsuit like the one Knievel is famous for wearing.
In the video, West cavorts with Anderson, argues with two black women angry at him for dating a white woman and blasts off in a rocket-powered vehicle resembling the Skycycle that Knievel rode in his famous -- and failed -- jump over the Snake River Canyon in 1974. (source)