Jason Tseng

Judge Rules that Gay Accusations are not Libel: Gays and Lesbians "Not Contemptible"

Filed By Jason Tseng | August 16, 2009 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Anna Nicole Smith, howard stern, larry birkhead, rita crosby

Reuters reports that US Circuit Judge Denny Chin has ruled that Howard Stern can sue Anna Nicole Smith biographer Rita Crosby for defamation, but not over claims that Stern was gay or engaged in gay sex acts because homosexuality is no longer viewed as "contemptible."
Stern is suing Crosby, who wrote Blonde Ambition: The Untold Story Behind Anna Nicole Smith's Death, and publisher the Hatchette Book Group for 19 libelous statements in the book, including claims that Howard Stern, Smith's boyfriend at the time, had engaged in oral sex with Larry Birkhead, Anna Nicole Smith's baby daddy.

However, Judge Denny Chin told Stern's lawyers that 11 of the alleged 19 libelous statements were legally actionable, and that while he acknowledged widespread prejudice against gays and lesbians, he did not view them as defamatory statements:

"I respectfully disagree that the existence of this continued prejudice leads to the conclusion that there is a widespread view of gays and lesbians as contemptible and disgraceful."

Way to go Judge Chin! While I think Rita Crosby's book is likely far from the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me god... I also think that you don't get very far in the entertainment world without smoking a few cigars, if you know what I mean.

A footnote: Judge Chin was also the judge who presided over United States vs. Madoff. Look at Chin, dolling out the justice!

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I suppose there are many people who need to hear it from a third source to acknowledge a fact. The whole thing is so damn insulting. Reverse it and witness the complete rediculous assinine nonsense all this oppression is. Send this to the finger waggering Bill Clinton. He really needs to be reminded that he is not the one who gives and/or takes away.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | August 17, 2009 9:35 PM

I may be missing something here, but frankly I think gays and lesbians ought to rejoice in the fact that simply being characterized as being gay or lesbian isn't considered defamation. Why should the law be able to infer that being a sexual minority is somehow bad enough to damage one's reputation. Allowing it to remain as defamation or libel reinforces the thought that it is something bad.

Donn Murray | August 21, 2009 8:06 PM

When you are raised in a straight world and all you know is that you are different and you are told that is wrong, you just might have a little problem with self esteem. May the day come soon when being gay is no different than being left handed. It's time for us to capitalize Gay!