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Kitson, the Beverly Hills boutique popular with celebrity shoppers, is suing Us Weekly, accusing the gossip magazine of ignoring the shop in its coverage of the famous and their spending habits.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Kitson owner Fraser Ross claims Us is intentionally omitting any mention of the store in its issues because of a legal feud. Ross claims the lack of publicity is costing the shop $10,000 a week.
Not long ago, Us called Kitson "L.A.'s hippest hot spot," but now, according to the lawsuit, the magazine refuses to mention the store when publishing pictures of stars shopping there. Us even cropped a photo, the lawsuit alleges, so that Kitson's blue shopping bags, "generally known to readers, did not display the name Kitson on it."
The suit also said that in an August issue, a photo showed California first lady Maria Shriver and her daughter leaving Kitson but the store was left out of the credit. In the same issue, the suit said, Nicole Kidman's photograph stated she was leaving rival retailer Fred Segal.
"The lawsuit is frivolous and completely without merit. We will vigorously defend it," said Mark Neschis of Wenner Media LLC, the New York company that owns Us.
The allegations come as the FBI continues an investigation into whether a former Us editor hacked into the magazine's computers to figure out what stories it was working on. Federal agents in May searched Jill Ishkanian's home and the offices of Sunset Photo and News, a paparazzi agency she formed after she left the publication. Sunset Photo is partly owned by Ross.
Ishkanian's attorney denies his client did anything wrong and said Ross was only an investor in the agency.
In February, Ross sued the magazine's parent company, alleging that Us editor Ken Baker threw a private charity party at Kitson but never paid for it. That suit was settled.
In the latest lawsuit, Ross claims the publication reneged on a settlement in which it agreed not to disrupt the business or disparage the reputation of the store.
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