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Trials & Litigation

Mother-in-Law Sues Over Comedian’s Jokes

Posted Aug 26, 2009 10:22 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Photo from SundaLive.com

To Ruth Zafrin, her comedian daughter-in-law’s jokes are no laughing matter.

Zafrin has sued comedian Sunda Croonquist, alleging her jokes are defamatory because they make Zafrin out to be a racist, according to stories in the New Jersey Law Journal, the Associated Press and the New York Post. Other plaintiffs are Zafrin’s daughter and son-in-law.

Croonquist's mother is black and father is Swedish. She grew up Roman Catholic, but converted to Judaism when she married real-estate lawyer Mark Zafrin, according to the Post. A lawyer from Mark Zafrin’s law firm—Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Greenberg, Formato & Einiger in New York—is representing Croonquist.

AP highlights this joke by Croonquist about her mother-in-law’s reaction to her pregnancy: ''OK, now that we know you're having a little girl I want to know what you're naming that little tchotchke. Now we don't want a name that's difficult to pronounce like Shaniqua. We're thinking a name short but delicious. Like Hadassah or Goldie.''

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