Monday, July 8, 2013

Cook County Judge Tosses Ex-NBC Reporter's Libel Suit Against CBS

In a nine-page ruling last week in Jacobson v. CBS Broadcasting, Inc. (Case No. 2008-L-007331), Cook County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Lawrence threw out a five-year-old defamation suit brought by a former Chicago NBC tv reporter against  her rival CBS affiliate.

Radio talk show host Amy Jacobson sued CBS for $1 million in 2008, roughly a year after the station aired footage of a bathing suit-clad Jacobson at a pool party hosted by Craig Stebic, whom police purportedly have identified as a "person of interest" in the April 2007, disappearance of his wife Lisa, though no charges have been brought against him, according to an article in The Chicago Tribune. The Tribune article reported that Judge Lawrence ruled against Jacobson for not proving the CBS story contained false statements about her. Judge Lawrence further held some of the alleged offensive content constituted First Amendment-protected statements of opinion. NBC fired Jacobson soon after the CBS story aired.

Jacobson plans to appeal the adverse decision, according to the Tribune article, contending she was not a public figure when the CBS footage was broadcast.


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