Western Kentucky mascot lawsuit gets new life

A 15-year-long court case involving Western Kentucky University's mascot was given new life on Wednesday when Italy's highest court published its decision, affirming the merits of a plagiarism suit brought by the university against a large Italian media company.

Western Kentucky and companies that had bought the school's international merchandise licenses originally sued Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset and Antonio Ricci, the creator of a similar-looking character named Gabibbo.

The suit was originally filed in 2003 for $250 million, ESPN reports.

When the school didn't prevail, the case was refiled by the parties with Ralph Carey, who created Western Kentucky's Big Red in 1979.

In the suit that matched the school's complaint, Carey said that not only did Gabibbo look like a copy of Big Red, but he pointed to a newspaper article in 1991 where Ricci said Gabibbo was previously 'a mascot for a basketball team in Kentucky.'

Click here to read the ESPN report and to view the differences between the two characters.

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the Tri-State, follow Eyewitness News on Facebook and Twitter.

(This story was originally published on June 6, 2018)

More Stories

Video Center