Just when Spike TV thought its legal troubles were over, the network is being sued by a Florida stripper who says the idea for Spike's Pamela Anderson cartoon ''Stripperella'' -- exotic dancer by night, superheroine by later at night -- was hers. Janet Clover, 37, says in papers filed Monday that she is the ''true creator'' of the series, not Marvel Comics guru Stan Lee, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. In fact, Clover says she passed the idea along to him during a private dance session in Tampa a year ago.
The suit names Anderson, who voices the heroine, as well as Viacom (Spike's parent company) and Lee, best known for helping dream up such classic comics characters as Spider-Man and the Hulk. ''This office challenges Lee to produce proof of his creative work, as true authorship belongs to Tanga's Jazz,'' Clover wrote in the suit, which she prepared without the aid of an attorney. Tanga's Jazz is the club where she claims she danced for the 80-year-old Lee. ''Evidence to support is available upon request,'' the suit says.
''I'm just trying to get this off TV because it's not his idea,'' the currently unemployed Clover told the News-Journal. ''She was supposed to be a nurse, which is what I'm studying for.'' As for the defendant, she said, ''I can't remember much about Mr. Lee, little bits and pieces come back. You know, I meet a lot of men.''
Lee and Anderson have not commented on the suit. Neither has Viacom, which earlier this week settled another Spike TV-related lawsuit out of court, the one filed by filmmaker Spike Lee who said that the renamed Spike TV (until recently, TNN) was capitalizing on his name and reputation. In dropping the suit and reaching an undisclosed settlement, Spike Lee said he'd feared his complaint would have a chilling effect on the First Amendment right to free expression.