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Flipper, Cover Your Ears


Up Front: SLUGFESTS

FLIPPER, COVER YOUR EARS

JACQUES COUSTEAU IS DIVING into the murky waters of a nasty family feud. The famed oceanographer, now 85, charges that his son, Jean-Michel, is cashing in on the family name to promote a business venture--the posh new Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort. The elder Cousteau filed suit Sept. 4 in Fiji to force Jean-Michel, 57, to drop the family name from his $3 million resort or print a disclaimer wherever it appears on stationery or promotional material. Jacques claims the name damages his reputation and that of the Cousteau Society, a nonprofit foundation. Another defendant is one of Jean-Michel's investors, resort-owner Post Ranch, whose manager, Larry Callahan, says Jacques is being "unfair."

Cousteau pre, who lives in Paris and has just completed a documentary about Danube River pollution, has had stormy relations with his son for years, friends say. Jean-Michel, recalling how he has worked closely with his dad on past documentaries, refuses to budge on the resort-name issue. He says in a statement: "I am proud to be a Cousteau, and I am proud of my father's accomplishments."EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT, WITH OLUWABUNMI SHABI Eric Schine


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