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July 01, 2011  | by: Katherine Polanco

Keenen, Shawn and Marlon Wayans

The Wayans brothers’ latest adventure together, a book titled “You Know You’re a Gold digger When…”, seems to have put them in some hot water…and not with the ladies.  The only gold digging here is by Jared Edwards,  former assistant to the Wayans brothers.  Edwards claims that they stole his jokes and used them for their book without crediting him.  Now, he’s suing the comedy trio.

Jared Edwards worked for the brothers for a decade and would tell jokes about women who were gold diggers and used wealthy men for all they were worth. Edwards also says that he pitched the idea for the book.

He says he pitched an idea for a book centered around jokes such as, “You know you’re a gold digger when you know more about sports players’ stats than an ESPN analyst.”  Allegedly, the Wayans rejected his offer, then created their own.  Edwards is accusing the Wayans of copyright infringement and stealing his idea without pay.

As Reuters notes, “The book was hardly a best-seller, and so the judge has capped a damage award to the amount of money the Wayans got as an advance for writing the book, foreclosing any of the publisher’s profits.”

If I were the judge, this case would be taken very lightly.  Most jokes we’ve heard in the world have been recycled and reused for centuries.  If riffing on old jokes and retelling jokes you’ve heard is a crime…I have to call my lawyer as well.

The trial is scheduled to begin on July 12.

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