Did E! Pinch Pop Fiction Idea from Anna Nicole?
Anna Nicole Smith and Howard K. Stern by Carlos Antonio Rios/Houston Chronicle/WireImage.com
steal the idea for
Anna Nicole Smith
? That's what Smith lawyer/lover Howard K. Stern is alleging, saying that he and Smith pitched a similar idea to E! execs in 2004. According to Stern, Kutcher's show (in which celebs stage fake photo-ops to trick the press) is nearly a carbon copy of
Celebrities Strike Back
, Stern and Smith's treatment (TMZ has the
Stern even says that as recently as two months ago there was talk of Paternity Sweepstakes Winner Larry Birkhead being the subject of the first prank, and then hosting the show.
In response, E! issued this statement: "
is a program independently created and developed by Ashton Kutcher's company, Katalyst.
is not based on any idea or concept that may have been pitched to E! by any other party."
debuted on Sunday with (fake) stories about Paris Hilton and her "guru" and Avril Lavigne and her "baby bump." It's a great idea for a show, especially these days when almost every celeb headline has a degree of incredulity. Which recent "news" sounds like a
segment to you? My vote:
Britney Spears guest-starring on How I Met Your Mother