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American designer sues Yoko Ono for copying her designs

New York: A Brooklyn fashion designer has filed a lawsuit against Yoko Ono, claiming she ripped off her wacky new clothing line and tried to pass it off as her own.

Haleh Nematzadeh claimed John Lennon`s 80-year-old widow`s design team saw sketches of her women`s line before tweaking it and selling the knockoffs online, the New York Post reported.

Nematzadeh, who owns the Bushwick-based clothing firm Smashing Starlets, said she met with photographers working for Opening Ceremony, a retailer that now sells Ono`s fashion line, in July hoping to get images of her Gonna Walk the Night collection in the store`s catalog.

The fotogs were supposed to meet Nematzadeh for a shoot but instead teamed up with Ono`s designers, who altered the garments into a men`s line without permission, the designer claimed.

On Opening Ceremony`s Web site, Ono says her fashion line - which features nipple holes and handprints on crotches - is a tribute to her late Beatle hubby`s hot body.

"I was inspired to create Fashion for Men, [because I was] amazed at how my man was looking so great. I felt it was a pity if we could not make clothes emphasizing his very sexy bod," it reads.

But Nematzadeh`s suit, filed in Brooklyn federal court Friday, calls Ono`s statement a "feeble attempt" to claim the designs as her own.

"She`s trying to put fetish in context, but since when does fetish and John Lennon go together?" she said.

"When you think of the Beatles, you think of doves and trees, not that," she added.