Wednesday, April 9, 2014
The defamation suit brought by Bobby Brown against American Media and writer Derrick Handspike over a National Enquire article has survived a summary judgment motion. Soon after the death of Whitney Houston, the Enquire published a story that prior to Houston’s death, she and Brown had gotten back together and were having an intimate relationship. The story was in an edition dated April 2, 2012, and was distributed March 25, 2012. Brown and his wife, Alicia Etheridge-Brown, filed their defamation claim on March 25, 2013. The defendants moved for summary judgment based on the expiration of the one year statute of limitations.
In Brown v. American Media, Inc., U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken denied summary judgment, and found that the Brown’s may have timely filed the suit since the online article posted on March 26, 2012 is arguably a republication that targeted a new audience. The Browns are not in the clear though, as the judge noted that the defendants may be able to bring a subsequent summary judgment motion after discovery.
See Adam Klasfeld, Enquier Can Be Sued for Whitney Houston Story, Courthouse News Service, Apr. 3, 2014.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.