Judge Declines to Toss Producer's Libel Suit Against Rape Accuser
Gene Maddaus in Variety writes:
Attorneys for the accuser, Melanie Kohler, had urged Judge Helen Gillmor to throw out the case, arguing that it was intended to discourage other women from coming forward. They also argued that the four-page lawsuit was not sufficiently detailed to sustain a claim for defamation. Gillmor found that the claim was sufficient to survive the motion to dismiss.
“This case is going to come down to whether what she said was true, and we’re going to have to try the case to determine that,” Eric Seitz, an attorney for Ratner, said.
Kohler’s side did score a victory, however, when Gillmor held that the case would be governed by the California anti-SLAPP statute, which protects free speech rights and makes it more difficult to pursue defamation claims in California. Ratner’s attorneys had argued that the case should be governed by Hawaii’s anti-SLAPP law, which applies solely to speech involving government actions. Kohler lives in Hawaii, but alleges that Ratner raped her a dozen years ago while she was a resident of California.
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