Gaslamp Killer Files $5 Million Defamation Lawsuit Over Rape Accusation
William Bensussen, the electronic music producer and longtime Low End Theory resident known as The Gaslamp Killer, has filed a $5 million defamation lawsuit against two women who accused him last month on social media of drugging and raping them in 2013. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Nov. 13, names the two women, Chelsea Tadros and RaeAn Medina, along with Tadros’ boyfriend, Jack Wagner.
The 26-page suit, a copy of which was obtained by L.A. Weekly, seeks damages on seven counts, including defamation by libel, false light, interference with contractual relations and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“These false and despicable allegations have sabotaged Mr. Bensussen’s career, upended his personal life, and led to the cancellation of his shows,” Bensussen’s attorney, Parag Amin, said via a written statement. “Mr. Bensussen is seeking to restore his good name the right way — through a court of law, where people must testify under oath and there is accountability for false statements.”
Tadros, Medina and Wagner did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Through a representative, Bensussen also declined to comment, instead referring to a press release that included statements from his attorney, Amin.
“False stories like the ones perpetrated by these two women further victimize real victims of assault,” Amin said.Bensussen was first accused of rape on Oct. 12, by a woman then identified only as Chelsea, who posted a screenshot on Twitter of a lengthy statement in which she “falsely [claimed] that she and Medina were raped by Bensussen on July 5, 2013 after being drugged at The Standard hotel in Downtown Los Angeles,” as described in the suit, which reprints the original accusation in full. In her statement, Tadros claimed after she and her friend, Medina, returned from the bathroom, Bensussen gave them drinks that had been spiked with some kind of drug.
Chris Gayle wins defamation case against Fairfax Media
The cricketer Chris Gayle has won his defamation case against Fairfax Media after a jury found a series of articles published in 2016 which alleged he exposed his penis to a masseuse were untrue.
The jury at the supreme court in Sydney took less than two hours to answer no to all three questions it was asked to consider, including whether he had exposed himself and indecently propositioned her.
The masseuse, Leanne Russell, gave evidence last week that it was “horrific” and she cried uncontrollably in 2015 after the West Indies cricketer pulled his towel down to expose his penis and asked her, “Is this what you’re looking for?” when she walked into the change room at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney.
Gayle, who captained the West Indies Test team between 2007 and 2010 and is known for his big-hitting and aggressive style of batting, sued Fairfax for the articles which he said were untrue and had damaged his reputation.
On Monday Gayle embraced his barrister, Bruce McClintock, as they left the court. “I’m a good man. I’m not guilty,” Gayle told reporters outside court.
Gayle said he was “very happy” and thanked his legal team who he said had done a great job. He said it was never about the money and if Fairfax appealed he would fight it again. He wanted to put the “emotional” case behind him and get on with his life.
Fairfax said it believes the jury was misled and it did not get a fair trial.
“Fairfax Media is concerned with the conduct of the trial to the extent that, on Friday, it sought an order that the jury be discharged and a new trial ordered,” a spokesman said. “The judge accepted that the jury had been misled in a way that prejudiced Fairfax but declined to discharge the jury. Fairfax believes that it did not get a fair trial. It is seriously considering its appeal rights.”
Andrew Little wins defamation battle against Hagaman estate
The Court of Appeal has dismissed a defamation claim brought by the wife of the late millionaire hotelier Earl Hagaman against former Labour leader and current Justice Minister Andrew Little.
Lani Hagaman and her husband sued Mr Little for $2.3 million at a hearing in April this year and later filed an appeal shortly before Mr Hagaman’s death in May.
It stemmed from comments Mr Little made in a press release and subsequent radio and television interviews in April last year about Mr Hagaman’s $100,000 donation to the National Party.
The donation was made a month before his company, Scenic Hotel Group, was awarded a contract to operate Niue’s Matavai luxury resort.
The High Court jury cleared Mr Little of defaming Ms Hagaman but was unable to reach a full decision in regard to Mr Hagaman.
The jury found on one of six causes of action that Mr Little had defamed Mr Hagaman but couldn’t reach a majority decision on whether the defence of qualified privilege applied.
Ms Hagaman took that to the Court of Appeal, but on Thursday the court said the defamation claim had not survived Mr Hagaman’s death and there was “no conclusive answer on that cause of action”.
“Labour List MP Andrew Little has just received the decision on the appeal of the late Earl Raymond Hagaman v Andrew James Little,” a spokesperson for Mr Little says.
“Mr Little is pleased the matter has been finalised. There will be no further comment.”
Mr Hagaman’s estate must pay costs for the appeal.
The Court of Appeal has dismissed a defamation claim brought by the wife of the late millionaire hotelier Earl Hagaman against former Labour leader and current Justice Minister Andrew Little.Lani Hagaman and her husband sued Mr Little for $2.3 million at a hearing in April this year and later filed an appeal shortly before Mr Hagaman’s death in May.
Bill O’Reilly Files #MeToo Defamation Lawsuit Against Former Politician
Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has filed a $5 million dollar defamation lawsuit against a former New Jersey politician that accuses him of “making defamatory and false” statements about him in a #MeToo Facebook post. According to the suit, Michael Panter falsely posted on Facebook that O’Reilly had sexually harassed an ex-partner and then attempted to ask her for help in digging up dirt on one of his multiple accusers. In response to the accusation, O’Reilly stated, “Panter’s post is completely contrived, false and defamatory, aimed at hurting Bill O’Reilly and his family. Mr. O’Reilly will be commencing legal action against Mr. Panter, and the ex-partner he quotes, for all damages he and his family have suffered from this improper conduct.”
According to the Facebook post, O’Reilly not only hit on Panter’s ex-girlfriend, but repeatedly subjected her to late-night phone calls and asked her for help in uncovering personal information about a new woman accusing O’Reilly of sexual harassment in an attempt to discredit her, asking Panter’s ex-partner if she knew anything about possible drug use or the new accuser’s financial situation.
O’Reilly filed the suit in New York in a response to Panter’s purportedly “intentional, malicious, and bad faith actions in making defamatory and false statements in a publicly-available social post.” In response to O’Reilly’s claims of defamation, Panter issued a follow-up statement that defended his claims against O’Reilly and raised the possibility of bringing counter defamation claims against him in the future.
Social media is a relatively uncharted legal territory, and the question of what constitutes defamation over platforms like Facebook and Twitter remains murky. In American defamation law, any communication, even through social media, can be considered libelous if it is found to be false and damaging to an individual or corporation. The success of a defamation claim can also hinge on whether the subject is a public figure. In order to be found liable for defamation against a person who is famous or well known, a person must have acted with “actual malice,” meaning that he or she was aware that the statement in question was false, or acted with reckless disregard for the truth.
Brett Ratner Sues Woman for Defamation Over Rape Allegation
Brett Ratner has filed a defamation lawsuit against a woman who claims he raped her over a decade ago in Los Angeles.
Melanie Kohler first made the allegations against the director in an Oct. 20 Facebook post, calling him a “rapist” and saying the assault took place “in Hollywood about 12 years ago,” according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
“[Ratner] preyed on me as a drunk girl [and] forced himself upon me,” the documents claim she said in the post.
Ratner is suing for defamation, claiming an unspecified amount of damages.
Six women — including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge — spoke out against Ratner, 48, in an article published by the Los Angeles Times Wednesday. Munn said that while visiting the set of the 2004 Ratner-directed film After the Sunset, he masturbated in front of her.
In a statement to the L.A. Times, Ratner’s attorney Martin Singer vehemently disputed the specific allegations and said “no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client.”
On Wednesday, Ratner responded to the allegations himself, saying, “In light of the allegations being made, I am choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros.- related activities.” He added, “I don’t want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved.”
Ratner is a longtime Hollywood power player known for directing the Rush Hour series and producing movies like Horrible Bosses and The Revenant. He reportedly had a first-look deal with Warner Bros. and was connected to a project titled Goldfinch based of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller of the same name. According to Deadline, insiders at Warner Bros. say that Ratner no longer has an office at the studio, has been removed from the Goldfinch project and will not have his deal renewed.
Trump’s Lawyers Just Argued, Again, That A Woman’s Defamation Suit Over Groping Allegations Should Be Dismissed
In response to a defamation lawsuit filed by one of the women who has accused Trump of sexual assault, his lawyers argued that he cannot be sued for expressing his “political opinion” in tweets.
President Donald Trump’s lawyers sought, once again, the dismissal of a defamation suit filed against him by a woman who claims he groped her, arguing that her claims are false and the suit is “politically motivated.” In a court filing Tuesday, his lawyers also argued that when he took to Twitter and the debate stage and called the woman and others who made similar claims liars, it was an expression of political opinion that is protected by the First Amendment.
“Courts consistently recognize that Internet postings — particularly on social media like Twitter — are on forums that an audience would understand to contain ‘vigorous expressions of personal opinion,’ ‘rather than the rigorous and comprehensive presentation of factual matter,’” his lawyer wrote in a brief filed in New York state court.
Summer Zervos, a former contestant on the Trump’s reality TV show The Apprentice, accused Trump of kissing and grabbing her when she went to his bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007 to discuss a possible job at the Trump Organization. After Zervos made the accusation last October, Trump called it a lie.
She sued him for defamation just days before his inauguration and in March, Zervos’s lawyers served a subpoena for all documents from his campaign pertaining to “any woman alleging that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately.”
In yesterday’s filing, Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, reiterated that “what Ms. Zervos alleges occurred never happened.” The brief pointed to instances where she continued to seek employment from Trump and invited him to her restaurant, after the alleged incident.
Chris Gayle: Cricketer wins Sydney defamation case
West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle has won a defamation case against an Australian publisher over articles that said he exposed himself to a female massage therapist.
The claims by Fairfax Media were not true, a jury in Sydney ruled on Monday.
Massage therapist Leanne Russell had told the hearing that Gayle exposed himself to her in Sydney in 2015.
However, Gayle successfully argued the incident did not happen. It is unclear how much he will seek in damages.
“I am a good man. I am not guilty,” Gayle told reporters outside Sydney’s King Street court complex.
“I am glad the public actually get a chance to read into things and they can hear what actually transpired.”
Fairfax Media said it would investigate whether to appeal, claiming that the jury had been “misled in a way that prejudiced Fairfax”.
“It will cost the company a lot of money unless we can reverse it on appeal,” said Peter Bartlett, a solicitor acting for the company.
During the six-day trial, Ms Russell said that Gayle had partially exposed himself to her in a dressing room, leaving her “very upset”.
She contacted Fairfax Media after being angered when Gayle told a journalist “don’t blush, baby” in a television interview, the jury heard.
Fellow cricketer Dwayne Smith, who was also in the dressing room, supported Gayle’s version of events.
Gayle’s legal team argued that Fairfax journalists wanted to “destroy” the cricketer.
The jury ruled the company was motivated by malice when the articles were published in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Canberra Times.
The court will consider damages on Tuesday.Gayle, 38, is among the world’s highest-profile cricketers and in August became the first player to reach 10,000 Twenty20 runs.
Damages claim runs against law: Media law expert Timalsena
KATHMANDU, September 3: Media law expert Ram Krishna Timalsena has said that the defamation case filed by chief of Nepal Oil Corporation Gopal Bahadur Khadka against Nepal Republic Media officials and journalists should have been rejected by the court right at the beginning.
Timalsena, former registrar at the Supreme Court, said that since the related provision of the existing Libel and Slander Act, 2016 BS (1959) doesn’t allow for the demanding of such a huge amount of money in damages, the case shouldn’t have been registered. “I don’t know how the claim of such a huge amount of money in damages was included in the case as the law in Nepal doesn’t allow it,” Timalsena said in an interview with Radio Nagarik 96.5 on Saturday. “His demand for damages isn’t in accordance with the law,” he said.
Khadka filed a defamation case against Nagarik daily, which has been exposing embezzlement of millions of rupees in land procurement by NOC. In the case filed at Kathmandu District Court, he has sought Rs 800 million in damages.
KATHMANDU, September 3: Media law expert Ram Krishna Timalsena has said that the defamation case filed by chief of Nepal Oil Corporation Gopal Bahadur Khadka against Nepal Republic Media officials and journalists should have been rejected by the court right at the beginning.Timalsena, former registrar at the Supreme Court, said that since the related provision of the existing Libel and Slander Act, 2016 BS (1959) doesn’t allow for the demanding of such a huge amount of money in damages, the case shouldn’t have been registered. “I don’t know how the claim of such a huge amount of money in damages was included in the case as the law in Nepal doesn’t allow it,” Timalsena said in an interview with Radio Nagarik 96.5 on Saturday. “His demand for damages isn’t in accordance with the law,”
Anti-Defamation League ‘glad’ Bannon out of White House
The Anti-Defamation League on Friday said it was “glad” Steve Bannon, a former White House strategist, was removed from his post.
A champion of the nationalist-populist agenda that carried Trump to power last November, the 63-year-old Bannon left a White House reeling from the fallout over the president’s response to a violent white supremacist rally
With Trump under fire for insisting anti-racism protesters were equally to blame for violence at a weekend rally of neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, the president faced renewed pressure to let Bannon go.
“Hate has no place in our nation: not in our town squares and not in our White House. We are glad Steve Bannon will no longer advise the president,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt in a statement.
The Anti-Defamation League on Friday said it was “glad” Steve Bannon, a former White House strategist, was removed from his post. champion of the nationalist-populist agenda that carried Trump to power last November, the 63-year-old Bannon left a White House reeling from the fallout over the president’s response to a violent white supremacist rallyWith Trump under fire for insisting anti-racism protesters were equally to blame for violence at a weekend rally of neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, the president faced renewed pressure to let Bannon go.“Hate has no place in our nation: not in our town squares and not in our White House. We are glad Steve Bannon will no longer advise the president,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt in a statement.Bannon, a hero of the so-called “alt right” whose presence in the West Wing was controversial from the start, had become the nucleus of one of several competing power centers in a chaotic White House..The departure, capping one of the most disastrous weeks of the chaotic young administration, is a nod to members of Trump’s government and his Republican Party grown increasingly frustrated with the anti-establishment firebrand.