The Week In Defamation: Newspapers In Hot Water, Filmmaker Off The Hook, Convict Given The Go-Ahead & More!

What was the big defamation news this week? Read below to find out!

Documentarian Wins Defamation Lawsuit Filed By One Of Her Subjects

documentary defamation“Queen of Versailles” documentarian Lauren Greenfield successfully fended off a defamation lawsuit filed by the focus of the movie, David Siegel. The Siegels took umbrage with promotional marketing materials for the film. In the end, however, Greenfield emerged victorious and the Siegel’s must pay $750,000 for Greenfield’s attorneys.

Advantage, Dr. Phil In Slander Suit

dr. phil defamation lawsuitFor several years, America’s on-air psychologist, Dr. Phil, has been entangled in a complicated slander suit filed by two brothers involved in his Natalee Holloway investigation. This week, a judge deemed one of the brothers a “limited-purpose public figure,” which means he has to meet a higher standard of proof in the case – the standard of actual malice. This is a good turn of events for defendant Dr. Phil.

 

Ex-UCLA Athlete Given Thumbs Up To Move Forward With Defamation Lawsuit Against Sport’s Illustrated

reeves-nelson-defamationOn appeal, a panel of judges gave Reeves Nelson permission to move forward with lawsuit against Sport’s Illustrated. A lower court had previously dismissed his claim, but the higher court disagreed and waved it through, reasoning that Reeves may be able to prove defamation.

Belieber Posse Member Stepping In To The Libel Ring

Belieber DefamationLooks like a female friend of the Canadian Terror (a.k.a., Justin Bieber), Chantel Jeffries, is jumping in to the legal mosh-pit with her buddy – on her own accord. Bieber’s passenger the night of his Miami drag racing incident is suing the New York Daily News for reporting that she was arrested 5 times. Jeffries filing lambasts the newspaper for not “reasonably [verifying] the truth”. Now, if Chantel was only arrested 4 times, and that is why she’s saying “5” is a “false statement of fact”, she probably won’t get very far because the paper can claim that their reporting was “substantially true”.

Jude Gives Convict Kennedy Cousin Thumbs Up To Sue Nancy Grace For Defamation

nancy grace defamationIn the coming months, Headline News’ favorite daughter, Nancy Grace, will be going head-to-head with a Kennedy Clan cousin – the one who’s been behind bars for many years. That’s right, Michael Skakel was given the thumbs up to move forward with a slander lawsuit against the crime reporter over statements she made on air regarding his murder trial. In 2000, a jury convicted Skakel of murdering Martha Moxly. Recently, however, Skakel was granted another trial. The Grace battle is related to the new trial, or, more precisely, jury selection at the next trial.

Australia’s First Twibel Verdict Handed Down

australia twitter defamation verdictThis week, the verdict in Australia’s first Twibel (Twitter libel) case came back. A former high school student was found responsible for defaming a teacher who’d taken over his father’s job as the head of the school’s music department. The judge and jury felt the defendant’s defense of truth was “spurious” and sided with the plaintiff.

Bag Men Given The Go Ahead In Libel Suit Against The New York Post

newspaper defamationA judge waved through the defamation lawsuit being brought by the two guys whom the New York Post plastered on their front page and donned “Bag Men” during the Boston Marathon bombing. The pair filed a defamation lawsuit against the paper soon after the incident, and the media outlet tried to get it dismissed by arguing that since the men’s names were never published, it wasn’t libel. But, in the words of the judge’s opinion, “The court is not persuaded” by the paper’s pleading. So, it’s off to a jury it goes – if it’s not settled first.

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