AceShowbiz - Conan O'Brien and his writing team have settled a lawsuit brought by a blogger who accused them of joke theft.
Robert Alexander Kaseberg sued the comedy legend in 2015, claiming five gags aired on his U.S. talk show "Conan" were taken from his blog and tweets.
O'Brien, 56, has now settled the lawsuit and addressed the issue in an opinion piece published by Variety magazine, in which he defended his writers but explained he wanted to avoid the spectacle of a trial.
"Short of murder, stealing material is the worst thing any comic can be accused of, and I have devoted 34 years in show business striving for originality," he wrote in the op-ed. "Had I, for one second, thought that any of my writers took material from someone else I would have fired that writer immediately, personally apologized, and made financial reparations. But, I knew that we were in the right."
He claimed none of his team had ever heard of Kaseberg before he sued them, and added: "Different people around the world come up with the same joke all the time, especially when the joke is topical."
O'Brien went on to explain that he and the blogger had decided to settle the matter amicably out of court, in order to avoid a "farcical" and "expensive" jury trial. Details of the settlement have not been disclosed.
Kaseberg's only comment on the settlement is a tweet joking about the recent mishap on HBO's fantasy series "Game of Thrones", when a modern coffee cup was mistakenly left in a scene.
"While I am happy the case has been settled, I would like to officially apologize to HBO for leaving my coffee cup on "The Game of Thrones" table," he quipped.