The Situation Suing the Pants Off Abercrombie & Fitch

Everyone's favorite fist pumper from Jersey Shore is taking legal action to protect his rep

By Josh Grossberg, Claudia Rosenbaum Nov 16, 2011 9:44 PMTags
Mike Sorrentino, The Situation, Jersey ShoreMTV

It's the Sitch vs. the Fitch.

Making good on his threats, Jersey Shore resident Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino is slapping a big-bucks lawsuit on Abercrombie & Fitch.

Here's the, um, situation.

Per court documents in federal court in Florida on Tuesday and obtained by E! News, the reality star alleges that by emblazoning T-shirts with such slogans as "GTL…You Know the Deal" and "The Fitchuation," the clothing giant violated his trademarks on "The Situation" and "GTL," aka his regimen of gym, tan and laundry.

Abercrombie did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Sorrentino got ticked off back in September during a publicity stunt gone wrong. Abercrombie fired off a press release proposing an unendorsement deal—i.e., the company offered to pay him a substantial amount of dough to not wear its clothes in public and prevent "significant damage" to the brand.

The Sitch's camp called the scheme a "marketing ploy," insisting a legit monetary offer was never made, and in fact, was simply done to draw attention to Abercrombie's fashion line.

"[Abercrombie] embarked on a grand, worldwide advertising campaign using Sorrentino's name, image and likeness to create brand awareness for its products by falsely claiming that [the company] had offered money to Sorrentino if he would stop wearing Defendant's goods," states the complaint.

MORE: The Sitch to Abercrombie & Fitch: Stop Profiting Off My Name!

Court papers also allege that Abercrombie sold T-shirts on its website bearing Sorrentino's aforementioned slogans, including  "'The Fitchuation' and 'GTL...you know the deal.' "

"As a result of [Abercrombie's] publicity campaign, [the retailer] profited off of the use of a false affiliation with Sorrentino and it has wrongly used Sorrentino's name, image and likeness for advertising purposes in violation of applicable law," states the suit.

The MTV personality, who wants a jury trial, is seeking a $1million royalty and $3 million in damages.

UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, A&F filed a detailed motion to have the lawsuit thrown out, arguing that their T-shirts are parodying the phrases "The Situation" and "GTL," and that Sorrentino doesn't hold trademarks for either phrase. He has requested trademarks, they acknowledge, but neither has been granted.