Ross Rebagliati reached a settlement with CTV last week after a year and a half of legal wrangling over the similarities between a character in the show “Whistler” and the 1998 Olympic snowboard champion.
“I am the only Canadian Olympic snowboard gold medalist, with blue eyes, blonde hair who lives in Whistler,” said Rebagliati in a statement. “The similarities between my personality and the central Whistler program character Beck MacKaye are obvious.
“I am glad I was able to get my message out, as I have worked very hard on my image since returning home from Nagano. I am grateful that CTV has taken this matter seriously and I look forward to working more closely with them in the future.”
Rebagliati launched the suit in 2006, suing the network for libel, breach of privacy and misappropriating his personality. He asked for the network to cancel the show and for unspecified damages.
At the time, the producers said Rebagliati’s name never came up once during the creation of the show and that any similarity between the actor portraying Beck MacKaye was coincidental.
The details of the settlement were not released, but the show lasted just two seasons before being cancelled. Rebagliati also said he hopes to work with CTV in the future, as the network prepares to broadcast the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.