As the Inquisitr reported early Sunday, the father of the late “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert is suing World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) over the use of his son Eddie’s likeness in archival footage. According to the lawsuit, Tommy Gilbert takes issue with WWE “plastering his son’s image and likeness all over TV.” One would expect that Gilbert is referring to WWE’s use of Eddie Gilbert’s past matches on the WWE Network.
On Sunday, WWE issued a statement to TMZ concerning the lawsuit.
“Through the years, WWE has acquired the legal rights to library footage of various former wrestling organizations including Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Mid-Southern Wrestling among many others. WWE has made these substantial investments to acquire these copyrighted works and has the legal right to use them. Similar cases in the past have been unsuccessful and we expect this case to be dismissed.”
A lawsuit over using a deceased wrestler’s likeness is nothing new to WWE. The widow of the late Owen Hart, Martha Hart, once sued WWE over the use of her husband’s image on a highly touted DVD release (Hart & Soul: The Hart Family Anthology). That lawsuit was settled out of court, and it’s likely that will be the same result with the lawsuit from Tommy Gilbert.
Eddie Gilbert tragically passed away in February 1995 at the age of 33. Gilbert’s cause of death was a heart attack, but the exact cause of the heart attack has never been pinpointed. According to Tommy Gilbert, his son was involved in a bad automobile accident in 1993 that damaged his chest and heart muscles. The elder Gilbert believes that this could have triggered the eventual heart attack. Others speculate that Gilbert’s use of painkillers following the automobile accident could have possibly brought on the heart attack.
“Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert had a long and illustrious career in the wrestling industry. He originally broke into wrestling in 1979 and eventually worked for all of the major North American wrestling companies, including the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE), Mid South Wrestling, the Universal Wrestling Federation, the Continental Wrestling Federation, Jim Crockett and World Championship Wrestling, and Eastern Championship Wrestling (later Extreme Championship Wrestling).
Away from the ring, Eddie Gilbert was involved in romances with some of the most notorious female wrestling performers of the 1980s and 1990s. Eddie was married to Missy Hyatt, WCW’s top diva, from 1987 until 1989. He later dated and briefly married 2015 WWE Hall of Fame inductee Debrah Miceli, known in wrestling as Madusa (WCW) and Alundra Blayze (WWF/WWE).
[Image via TMZ]