In a New York Time’s interview Jeff Greene, the billionaire who unsuccessfully challenged Kendrick Meek for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, is preparing to sue the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald, claiming stories the newspapers published cost him his bid for the United States Senate.
Mr. Greene lost the Democratic primary last week to Kendrick B. Meek, who will face Gov. Charlie Crist, an independent, and Marco Rubio, a Republican, in November.
During a bruising primary, Greene faced a series of questions about parties aboard his yacht and fraudulent real estate deals. Greene has singled out two news articles that were printed in the Times and the Herald, and an editorial in the Times.
During the interview with the New York Times on Tuesday, Greene said; “I want to send a message to every newspaper in the country: Do your homework. I deserve to have the record corrected, and they deserve to be punished”.
In one article, The Times reported that Greene was party to a real estate deal that left 300 California families homeless and a partner of his in jail. The other left the impression that boxer Mike Tyson, who was the best man at Greene’s wedding, used drugs while on Greene’s 145-foot yacht the Summerwind. Even thought the paper later ran a front-page correction clarifying that Tyson said he had not used drugs on the yacht.
Greene will seek at least $500 million in damages, famed libel attorney L. Lin Wood has told the paper he plans to file file a formal complaint in state court in Miami-Dade County today, September 1, 2010..
With money not a problem to hire the very best, Greene hired L. Lin Wood, a prominent libel lawyer who has won settlements for other public figures who claimed they were defamed by the news media, including Richard A. Jewell, the security guard cleared as a suspect in the 1996 Olympics bombing in Atlanta; Howard K. Stern the lawyer and boyfriend of model Anna Nicole Smith as well as the estate of Anna Nicole Smith in recovering alleged stolen property the day after her death; John and the late Patsy Ramsey the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, former U. S. Congressman Gary Conduit in a battle with author Dominick Dunne involving Coduit’s intern Chandra Levy’s death; Beth Holloway Twitty, mother of Natalee Holloway, and the victim of an alleged rape involving Kobe Bryant the famous basket ball player..
Neil Brown, the editor of St. Petersburg Times in an email to the New York Time stated; “The Times’ coverage of Mr. Greene and his business transactions has been thorough and fair, and the reporting is well-documented in public records”, while defending the newspaper of any wrongdoing.
Sandra S. Baron, executive director of the Media Law Resource Center said; “even with an admission of error, Jeff Greene is going to have to prove that the articles were published with actual malice.”
This folks is going to be the libel suit of all times, as always L. Lin Wood’s hand picked legal team filed the Original Complaint late today in the In the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida. The suit states in part that the papers and reporters listed in the suit, …”[Defendants] abandoned journalistic integrity and ignored the fundamental canons of journalistic conduct while wholeheartedly embracing the publication of false and defamatory articles about Greene with Constitutional actual malice. As a result, Defendants crossed the threshold from speech protect by the First Amendment to enter the arena of actionable libel for which they must be held legally accountable.” The suit further states that reporters and papers, “not only published the articles with the goal of destroying the personal, business and political reputation of Green, Defendants also urged that Green be criminal investigated by the FBI in connection with serious crimes.” This billionaire, Jeff Greene, has the money to stay in this suit with only the best libel and defamation lawyer, L. Lin Wood, right up and through any trial. Like I said before the primary, the papers should have done a front page correction on all of the issues and addressing all of the points that Wood presented in his two letters to the papers before the Florida primary with. the corrections but also made it clear they might be a tad bias as both newspapers endorsed Greene’s opponent, Kendrick B. Meek in the primary last week.
September 1, 2010
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