NEW YORK (Reuters) – John Melendez, who changed into identified as Stuttering John as a longtime sidekick to radio and tv host Howard Stern, has sued Sirius XM Holdings Inc for the usage of his identify, likeness and explain with out permission on channels devoted to Stern.

FILE PHOTO: John Melendez arrives for the premiere of „Nationwide Lampoon Items One, Two, Many“ in Los Angeles April 10, 2008. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Melendez, who left Stern’s radio repeat after extra than 15 years in 2004 and changed into the announcer for NBC’s “The Tonight Say With Jay Leno,” accused Sirius of exploiting his celeb to attract extra listeners and selling.

He acknowledged Sirius responded to his contemporary halt-and-desist letter by marginalizing his contributions to Stern’s repeat and harmful to acquire his present repeat, “The Stuttering John Podcast,” off its Pandora streaming service.

The complaint filed on Wednesday in Prolonged island federal courtroom seeks unspecified damages for Sirius’ airing of extinct recordings of Melendez on two channels devoted to Stern, which Melendez acknowledged violated California regulation and his exact of publicity.

Melendez acknowledged he averaged a $35,000 annual salary while working for Stern. His departure came exact earlier than Stern moved his repeat to Sirius from nationally syndicated radio.

Sirius had no fast commentary. A attorney for Melendez additionally had no fast additional commentary.

Melendez, who has had a speech impediment since childhood and bought his Stuttering John moniker from Stern, changed into identified for asking impertinent and irregular questions in what he known as “gotcha” interviews with celebrities and politicians.

He acknowledged his encounters with of us indulge in Billy Crystal, Ringo Starr and the Dalai Lama were liked by his followers and followers of Stern, “a reality that’s well-identified” to Sirius.

Melendez estimated that extra than 13,000 hours of “The Howard Stern Say” feature his explain, identify and identity.

The case is Melendez v. Sirius XM Radio Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Unusual York, No. 20-06620.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in Unusual York; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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