Increasingly agitated over being miscast in the public eye, plenty of Hollywood stars have unleashed their lawyers on those who tarnish those golden celebrity images with allegations that range from public drunkenness to petulance on the set. But the latest legal squabble involves what arguably shapes up to be one of the more egregious sins in Tinseltown: Suggesting that a celebrity could stand to lose a few pounds.

In a town as preoccupied with cellulite as it is with celluloid, diet devotees were doing cartwheels last summer over the “Hollywood 48-Hour Miracle Diet.” It made a worldwide splash through advertisements last summer in magazines such as Vanity Fair and Cosmopolitan, which proclaimed the diet product — a vitamin-enriched juice — had been dispatched to the sets of the hit TV shows ER, Friends and Melrose Place, along with being “rushed” to the likes of Paula Abdul and Jerry Seinfeld.