Knievel, West Try to Settle Lawsuit

The Associated Press
Wednesday, July 11, 2007; 2:02 PM

TAMPA, Fla. -- Evel Knievel and Kanye West think they can work it out.

The iconic motorcycle daredevil and the 29-year-old rapper notified a federal judge Tuesday they will use a mediator to try to settle a lawsuit Knievel filed over the use of his trademarked image in a popular West video.

Knievel, who lives in Clearwater, sued West in December. He took issue with a 2006 music video for the song "Touch the Sky," in which the rapper takes on the persona of "Evel Kanyevel" and tries to jump a rocket-powered motorcycle over a canyon.

In the video, West dons the familiar Knievel star-studded jumpsuit and jumps a canyon in a vehicle "visually indistinguishable" from the one Knievel used in his attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in 1974, the lawsuit said.

Knievel failed spectacularly. He was secured inside the cockpit and the Sky-Cycle was fired up. But his parachute opened just as he cleared the ramp. After soaring about 1,000 feet, he wound up landing about 20 feet from the river on the rocky south bank. He sustained only scrapes and bruises.

In the video, West's vehicle crashes to the bottom of the canyon in flames.

The 68-year-old Knievel claimed infringement on his trademarked name and likeness. He also claimed the "vulgar and offensive" images depicted in the video damage his reputation.

West's attorneys argued the video amounted to satire, covered under the First Amendment.

The lawsuit also names Roc-A-Fella Records, video director Chris Milk and AOL, the Internet division of Time Warner Inc., for distributing it.

Knievel and West will share mediation expenses.


On the Net:

Evel Knievel:

Kanye West:

© 2007 The Associated Press