Relatives of two of the Three Stooges contend the family of Moe Howard, the founding Stooge, owes them up to $ 5 million in profits from merchandising and marketing deals.
The suit names Norman Maurer Prods. and Joan Maurer and Jeffrey Scott, the daughter and grandson of Moe Howard.
The Superior Court suit was filed on behalf of Kris Cutler, a granddaughter of original Stooge Larry Fine; Curly Joe DeRita, the last Stooge; and his wife, Jean. The suit was filed before the July 3 death of DeRita and will continue despite his death, said Robert Benjamin, who was DeRita’s stepson and is an attorney for the DeRitas.
The suit seeks unspecified damages and demands that Maurer Prods. open its books for examination.
Don Zachary, attorney for Scott and Norman Maurer Prods., said the production company owns rights to the Stooges, and that DeRita was only due profits from marketing of memorabilia using his name or likeness.