Roy Moore sues sexual abuse accuser Leigh Corfman for defamation
Attorneys for former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore filed claims for defamation and slander against a woman who accused him of sexual abuse.
Moore’s demand for a jury trial, filed late Monday, is in response to a suit raised in January by Leigh Corfman, who claims the judge sexually abused her when she was 14. Her filing takes aim at both Moore and his campaign for defaming her after she came forward with the misconduct accusations.
Corfman, in an article published by The Washington Post in November, alleged that Moore in 1979 took her to his home in Etowah County where he undressed her and touched her inappropriately.
She additionally claimed Moore, a 32-year-old district attorney at the time, approached her in his underwear and “guided” her hand toward his penis.
Her accusations came during Moore’s campaign for the U.S. Senate seat that was left vacant by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Democrat Doug Jones narrowly defeated the judge, who was widely expected to win before Corfman’s accusations were made public.
“The statements made by Leigh Corfman to The Washington Post were fabricated and malicious and made with the sole intent of defaming Mr. Moore so as to damage his reputation in the community, state, and nation and prevented his election to the U.S. Senate,” according to court documents.
Standup comedian’s husband sues for defamation over ‘provocative’ show
An award-winning standup comedian is being sued by her estranged husband for allegedly defaming him in her show.
The lawsuit, described by a leading lawyer as a test case, relates to a show by Louise Beamont (stage name Reay). Hard Mode was billed as as a “provocative show [that] explores censorship and surveillance”; though one critic described it as being “at its core … about a very recent and raw heartbreak”.
Thomas Reay is also suing his wife for breach of privacy and data protection, is seeking £30,000 in damages plus legal costs and wants an injunction to prevent her publishing statements about him, she said.
Beamont, the 2015 Alternative New Comedian of the Year, said she would be bankrupted if she loses the case and has launched a crowdfunding page to raise money for her defence.
She wrote: “[Hard Mode] was a 50-minute show about censorship and authoritarianism, asking the audience to imagine that the BBC had come into the control of the Chinese government.
“During that show, I referred to my husband a couple of times – perhaps 2 minutes’ worth of reference in a 50-minute show. The main gist of those references was to tell the audience how sad I was that my marriage had broken down recently.”
Beamont said that she removed the material from subsequent performances at the Edinburgh fringe last summer – without admitting liability – when she received the first complaint from her husband but a writ was subsequently issued
Beamont, who refused to comment beyond a post on her gofundme page for legal reasons, wrote: “As standup comedians, I believe it’s the very definition of our job to talk about our lives and social issues. So this has become a free speech issue – and free speech means everything to me.”
EDITORIAL: Let’s talk about defamation, shall we?
Recently, High Court Master Fidela Corbin-Lincoln handed down a ruling that has paved the way for Prime Minister Gaston Browne to sue Damani Tabor for defamation. The spokesperson for the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) will now have to defend himself in the High Court against the claim that he has defamed the prime minister as it relates to comments made about the prime minister’s wife’s charity. It is going to be an interesting one.
Defamation is an interesting thing. In this case, even the Master did not interpret the words uttered by Damani to mean what the prime minister and his legal team were inferring. In her nine-page ruling she stated that while, she, a legal officer, does not find that the words complained or connotate any illegality or corruption, she had to bear in mind that that was not what she was asked to consider. If that is confusing to you then you are not alone.
This thing called defamation is an interesting legal concept in the Caribbean. Prior to the most recent changes to the laws, defamation was a “fine and confine” law. Meaning that you could see some time behind bars for defaming a person. Luckily, the criminal element has been removed and it is now a civil action, which can be an extremely effective weapon against an opponent and media once you can get the case into court.
From our point of view, we are the “pig in the middle”, as publisher and broadcaster, the OBSERVER Media Group finds itself too often before the court to defend ourselves for what other people have said. For full disclosure, we are part of this action as the Prime Minister has included us in the lawsuit as defendants. But we are not here to talk specifically about this matter but more about the oddities of defamation, in general. We are simply using some of the Master’s comments as reference.
Tabor to appeal defamation ruling
There will be an appeal of the decision of the Master of the High Court, who this week granted Prime Minister Gaston Browne permission to sue the opposition United Progressive Party’s (UPP) spokesman, Damani Tabor, for alleged defamation over a year ago.
Attorney Charlesworth Tabor, who represents the UPP senator, told OBSERVER media, he will be filing the appeal on several grounds.
The case is one in which the prime minister alleges that the UPP spokesman’s comments and questions on OBSERVER Radio, over a year ago, suggested he (Browne) was involved in criminal wrong doing or misfeasance through the alleged transfer of five million dollars to his wife’s charity, Share Incorporated.
The lawyer opined that the decision of the Master, Fidela Corbin-Lincoln, “was wrong in law” and he said that in ascertaining the meaning of words for defamation, the court should have rejected “any meaning which can only emerge as the product of some strained or forced or utterly unreasonable interpretation.”
The former High Court registrar said there is no way that the words complained of by the prime minister, suggest he is guilty of criminal corruption, misfeasance in public office and breach of fiduciary duties.
The lawyer said that it was “ridiculous” and “utterly unreasonable” for the Master to conclude that a reasonable/ordinary person could form such an opinion upon hearing the UPP spokesman’s comments and questions about the matter.
There were two causes of action in the defamation claim filed by the prime minister last year: defamation based on the natural and ordinary meaning of the words and; defamation based on an innuendo.
Earlier this week, PM Browne got the ruling granting him permission to sue the spokesman for the opposition UPP for defamation.
In the nine-page ruling, the Master of the Court wrote that while she, as a legal officer, did not find that the words complained of connote any illegality or corruption, she must bear in mind this is not what she was asked to consider.
Myanmar Journalist Charged With Defamation Refuses to Apologize to Firebrand Monk
A prominent Myanmar investigative journalist charged with defamation refused to apologize for a social media post he wrote about the country’s most notorious ultranationalist Buddhist monk though the prosecution offered to drop the case against him at a courthouse in the central Myanmar city of Mandalay on Tuesday.
Swe Win, editor-in-chief of the nonprofit independent news service Myanmar Now, faces charges for violating Article 66(d) of the 2013 Telecommunications Act by defaming Wirathu, a firebrand monk who frequently uses hate speech targeting the country’s Muslim minority.
The article prohibits the use of the telecom network to defame people and carries a jail sentence of up to three years and a fine for those found guilty of violating it.
State prosecutor Kyaw Myo Shwe said during today’s hearing that he would withdraw his lawsuit against Swe Win if he apologized for allegedly sharing a Facebook post criticizing Wirathu for supporting the alleged murderer of a prominent Muslim lawyer.
However, Swe Win declined the offer during his 18th appearance in court in connection with the case.
“I do not personally hate U [honorific] Wirathu,” Swe Win said. “I’m not being stubborn by refusing to apologize to him. I cannot change my words.”
Also at the hearing, the judge accepted documents and a compact disc with a video interview Swe Win gave at a press conference, which the prosecution submitted as evidence.
Khin Maung Myint, Swe Win’s lawyer, said believes the CD is inadmissible evidence that the judge should not have accepted.
He argued that the prosecutor made the recording from a Radio Free Asia broadcast but edited certain parts, distorting the context of Swe Win’s comments about Wirathu, the online journal The Irrawaddy reported. He also said that the CD was not submitted to the court when the charges were initially filed.
“We will file an appeal with the Mandalay district court,” Khin Maung Myint said.
Swe Win’s next court date is scheduled for Feb. 26.
Defamation and Journalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Inter-professional seminar for the media and judiciary actors, within the framework of joint program of EU and Council of Europe, “Reinforcing Judicial Expertise on Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Media in South East Europe” (JUFREX), took place on 10th and 11th of February 2018, on Trebevic Mountain near Sarajevo. The purpose of the inter-professional seminars is to provide the opportunity for different stakeholders interested in freedom of expression and media, to enter into the dialogue and share their views and different perspectives. The event was organised by Association of Journalists BiH, a JUFREX grantee, and the topic of the discussion was the defamation, in the context of BiH. The concrete libel cases against journalists in BiH were discussed at the seminar by many present journalists, judges, and lawyers- representatives of different media outlets.
Media and media law expert, Mehmed Halilovic presented the analysis of the defamation cases against journalists, editors and publishers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, pointing to the need of upgrading the system of tracking of these cases at the national courts. The experienced media lawyer from Croatia, Vesna Alaburic shared her experience and understanding of the Council of Europe’s standards on defamatory speech and the media freedom, through presenting and commenting some cases of ECtHR. The judge of Sarajevo Municipality Court Sanela Gorusanovic-Butigan, shared some of her cases of libel, whereas a number of journalists and editors presented their cases. The discussion pointed to a very different practice in BiH courts in regards to defamation: while some the courts are applying the standards of Article 10 of ECHR, there are also courts that do not. This needs to be balanced in the following period, is one of the conclusions that all participants of this event agreed upon.
Mixed reaction to Facebook defamation ruling
MIXED reactions followed yesterday’s High Court ruling that a woman must compensate the victims of defamatory remarks about them posted on her Facebook page.
In the absence of legislation, the landmark ruling by Justice Frank Seepersad will govern the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as communication applications, including WhatsApp and Viber.
Anyone found responsible by the court for publishing statements that attempt to assassinate another person’s character could face penalties similar to those imposed on mainstream media houses for defamation.
MIXED reactions followed yesterday’s High Court ruling that a woman must compensate the victims of defamatory remarks about them posted on her Facebook page.In the absence of legislation, the landmark ruling by Justice Frank Seepersad will govern the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as communication applications, including WhatsApp and Viber.Anyone found responsible by the court for publishing statements that attempt to assassinate another person’s character could face penalties similar to those imposed on mainstream media houses for defamation.MIXED reactions followed yesterday’s High Court ruling that a woman must compensate the victims of defamatory remarks about them posted on her Facebook page.In the absence of legislation, the landmark ruling by Justice Frank Seepersad will govern the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as communication applications, including WhatsApp and Viber.Anyone found responsible by the court for publishing statements that attempt to assassinate another person’s character could face penalties similar to those imposed on mainstream media houses for defamation.
Roy Moore asks for a change of venue in accuser’s defamation lawsuit
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore filed a motion Friday night seeking a venue change in a defamation lawsuit filed against him.
The lawsuit was filed by Leigh Corfman in the Montgomery Circuit Court. Moore wants the case to be moved to Etowah County. Attorneys for Moore say that’s a logical request, considering both Moore and Corfman live in Etowah County.
Corfman previously told the Washington Post that Moore sexually abused her when she was a 14-year-old girl and he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. Moore has denied all accusations of sexual misconduct several times.
Corfman’s suit asks the court to force Moore to “retract all defamatory statements made against Ms. Corfman, to publicly apologize for these defamatory statements, and to refrain from making further defamatory statements.” It also asks that the court forces Moore to pay the legal costs of the suit and “provide further relief as permitted by law and as the Court deems appropriate.”
The attorney’s representing Moore did not address the civil complaint lodged against the former Senate candidate. “The drama should properly play out where the underlying events at issue are alleged to have occurred – Etowah County – and not where the campaign had an office, now vacated, and a post office box,” Moore’s attorneys wrote.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore filed a motion Friday night seeking a venue change in a defamation lawsuit filed against him.The lawsuit was filed by Leigh Corfman in the Montgomery Circuit Court. Moore wants the case to be moved to Etowah County. Attorneys for Moore say that’s a logical request, considering both Moore and Corfman live in Etowah County.Corfman previously told the Washington Post that Moore sexually abused her when she was a 14-year-old girl and he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney.