NEW YORK (Reuters) – John Melendez, who grew to turn into identified as Stuttering John as a longtime sidekick to radio and tv host Howard Stern, has sued Sirius XM Holdings Inc for the spend of his title, likeness and utter without permission on channels devoted to Stern.

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

Melendez, who left Stern’s radio present after bigger than 15 years in 2004 and grew to turn into the announcer for NBC’s “The Tonight Mumble With Jay Leno,” accused Sirius of exploiting his celeb to plot extra listeners and advertising.

He stated Sirius replied to his latest end-and-desist letter by marginalizing his contributions to Stern’s present and harmful to clutch his novel present, “The Stuttering John Podcast,” off its Pandora streaming service.

The criticism filed on Wednesday in Long island federal courtroom seeks unspecified damages for Sirius’ airing of ragged recordings of Melendez on two channels devoted to Stern, which Melendez stated violated California legislation and his factual of publicity.

Melendez stated he averaged a $35,000 annual wage while working for Stern. His departure came factual before Stern moved his present to Sirius from nationally syndicated radio.

Sirius had no immediate comment. A attorney for Melendez additionally had no immediate extra comment.

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

He stated his encounters with folks appreciate Billy Crystal, Ringo Starr and the Dalai Lama had been appreciated by his fans and fans of Stern, “a indisputable truth that is successfully-identified” to Sirius.

Melendez estimated that bigger than 13,000 hours of “The Howard Stern Mumble” feature his utter, title and identification.

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

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in Original York; Enhancing by Bernadette Baum

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