Rebel Without a Handle: James Dean’s Estate Sues Twitter


He wouldn’t say that if he knew what the hell a Klout score was

Fan pages are no stranger to social media. It’s usually some rabid celebrity stalker aficionado who believes that the actual person doesn’t do a good job of getting in touch with his or her fans, so up blossoms a ‘fan page.’ The odd thing is that the owner therein tends to believe his or her own celebristudpidity, becomes slightly outspoken and starts searching for paparazzi.

To wit, James Dean has a Twitter handle. As in the teen misanthrope star of Giant, East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause who died in 1955. That James Dean has a Twitter handle. And now there’s a lawsuit…

According to the Indianapolis StarJames Dean, Inc. has told its hometown paper its wants to be the kibosh on as many as five Twitter accounts that bear his image.

Attorneys for Twitter last week asked that the case, initially filed in a Hamilton Superior court by James Dean Inc., be moved to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Attorneys for Twitter and James Dean Inc. did not immediately respond this morning to messages from The Indianapolis Star. The transfer request cites the potential amount of damages at stake and because the case may involve questions of federal law.

His bio on the ‘main handle’ states James Dean as “The King of Cool” hailing from New York City and Hollywood. So, at least we know someone’s Wiki page isn’t up-to-snuff.

A Tweet with today’s date says the Indiana company that represents the interests of Dean’s estate “contacted @JamesDean in 2010, asking me to manage the account, which I’d had since 2009. Have emails to prove.”

Another site — @JamessDean_ — also features a classic Dean image and appears to be based in Turkey. It also has a post bearing today’s date, though the tweet was not in English. The site appears to have 170,000 followers.

Yet another site — @James_Dean26 — includes a photo of the Hoosier actor, but the most recent tweet was in October. It appears to have about 1,200 followers.

James Dean would have turned 83 Saturday. So, there’s that.