Comedian Jerry Seinfeld said goodbye to $US22.2 ($31) million worth of his cars at auction in 2016, but it wasn’t really goodbye. A 1958 Porsche 356 Speedster Seinfeld sold is back in his life in the form of a lawsuit alleging it could be a fake, and now, he’s suing the dealer it came from for the same reason.
Seinfeld filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York on Monday against California company European Collectibles, over the dispute he’s now in about the authenticity of the Porsche. It came as a third-party complaint attached to the existing dispute Seinfeld’s in, in an effort, according to the suit, to “correct the record and hold European Collectibles accountable.”
Seinfeld bought the car for $US1.2 ($2) million in 2013, the lawsuit said, along with a certificate of authenticity from the company. He sold it to Fica Frio Limited for more than $US1.5 ($2) million in 2016, and that company sued Seinfeld on Feb. 1 in an effort to get back the cash it spent on the car and “all costs it has incurred.”
A few weeks later, the lawsuit action has moved up the chain with Seinfeld. The lawsuit from Monday called Seinfeld the “man in the middle,” and basically said any issues over the Porsche should be between European Collectibles and Fica Frio. Seinfeld’s complaint also said he has “no knowledge of whether Fica Frio’s allegations regarding the authenticity of the Vehicle are true,” and also alleged that European Collectibles has sold inauthentic cars in the past.
Here are some select lines from the lawsuit via the AP:
Mr. Steinfeld [sic], who is a very successful comedian, does not need to supplement his income by building and selling counterfeit sports cars. [...]
On information and belief, however, this is not the first time that a Porsche restored and sold by European Collectibles was alleged to be inauthentic by a disgruntled Porsche collector. Further discovery in this action will reveal the extent to which European Collectibles deploys fraudulent practices in connection with its restoration and sale of classic cars.
The lawsuit also alleges that European Collectibles solicited Seinfeld’s agent Sam Cabiglio, who buys and sells his cars, about the Porsche before it was originally bought, and that Seinfeld called Fica Frio to apologise “for this nuisance” the day after he learned of the authenticity allegations on June 20 of last year. The complaint from Seinfeld said Fica Frio filed a “misguided lawsuit” months later instead of working with Seinfeld on the issue.
Jalopnik has reached out to European Collectibles for comment on the lawsuit, and we’ll update this story if we hear back. The Associated Press, which had this story earlier on Tuesday, reached out as well and has yet to report a response.
In addition to wanting the parties to settle the matter amongst each other and without Seinfeld, the complaint asks for, in addition to other fees, actual and compensatory damages “in an amount to be determined at trial” or the judge to rescind the sale of the car and award Seinfeld the costs incurred related to it.
It also asks for punitive damages “to be determined at trial” in an effort to keep European Collectibles “from engaging in” its alleged “malicious and fraudulent conduct” any further.