Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Deena Cortese's meatball merchandise is stirring up legal problems for the Jersey Shore stars. While Polizzi and Cortese were famously called "the meatballs" during their time on the MTV show, New York sandwich spot The Meatball Shop claims in a new lawsuit that the reality stars are infringing on their trademark, TMZ reported this week.
Citing merch reading "Team Meatball forever" and "Meatball Squad," the restaurant claims in the lawsuit that Polizzi and Cortese stole their slogans and put it on their own merchandise, allegedly ignoring their cease and desist letter. The Meatball Shop is also accusing the Jersey Shore BFFs of sullying their brand's good name, asking the court to award them not only financially, but with an injunction blocking the two from selling any more meatball gear. Cortese and Polizzi have yet to respond publicly to the lawsuit.
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Cortese is currently appearing on Jersey Shore Family Vacation Season 4, which also stars Paul "Pauly D" Delvecchio, Jenni "JWoww" Farley, Vinny Guadagnino, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Angelina Pivarnick and Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, as well as their extended family members. While Polizzi appeared on the first three seasons of Family Vacation, she made her exit from the reboot after last season when a speech she, Cortese and Farley gave at Pivarnick's wedding to Chris Larangeira in November 2019 turned into a whole lot of drama.
At the time, Farley, Cortese and Polizzi said they meant the speech to be a playful roast, not something that would ruin Pivarnick's big day, but the bride certainly didn't take it that way. "Our speech was not meant to be malicious … I'm not a mean person and our intentions were never negative," Cortese tweeted at the time. "We truly thought she was going to laugh and right after we went into how lucky we are to have her in our lives and she's the sister we needed in the house."
In December 2019, Polizzi announced she wouldn't be returning to Family Vacation due to the negativity she had faced following the wedding debacle. "If I'm doing a reality show, I want it to be fun and I want it to be light-hearted and lately it's not that," she said on It's Happening With Snooki and Joey. "The show is getting so dramatic. I can't be part of something like that.