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Five Betty Boops Silent In Court (1934)


But Max Fleischer tells about them on stand. There was standing room only in the Supreme Court today as the trial of the suit for $250,000 brought by Helen Kane, who Boop-Boop-a-Dooped herself into spotlight fame against the Paramount-Publix Corporation, Max Fleischer and the Fleischer Studios Inc, went Booping into its second lap before Justice Edward J. McGoldrick.

The court reserved decision yesterday on the momentous question of whether the private rights of Miss Kane had been invaded and today consideration of another issue began with the presentation of evidence to determine whether Miss Kane is the victim of unfair competition.

Max Fleischer, creator of the Betty Boop animated cartoons, occupied the stand during the entire session. He testified that in about forty films of the series the principal character had been known as Betty Boop and named several girls who had sung in them.

The girls, he said, were engaged by the Paramount company, not by himself, but employment of the singers was about the only connection the former had with them.

He said the voices used in the films were those of Mae Questel, Bonnie Poe, Margie Hines, Harriet Lee and Little Ann Little. Helen Kane, accompanied by her husband Max Hoffman Jr, was in court as were the five rubber-stamp Betty Boops whose voices were used in the films, but none of them had a chance to do and Booping.

Mr Fleischer, who claims Betty Boop is solely a figment of his imagination testified that the first time the name Boop had been applied to the principal character in his cartoons was in the picture "Minding the Baby," released July 9, 1931.

Justice McGoldrick denied the request of Miss Kane's counsel, Samuel R. Weltz, for a jury trial of the case, but he indicated he would impanel a jury to assess damages if he rules in favor of the plantiff. He directed that documentary evidence of both sides, including records, sheet music, &c, be prepared between now and Monday and adjourned the case until then.

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