Superior Court Grants Anti-SLAPP Motion And Dismisses Tortious Interference Claims Against PBS

From Les Machado at D.C. Anti-SLAPP Law blog:

The D.C. anti-SLAPP statute has most often been used in cases involving claims of defamation. See Boley v. Atlantic Monthly Group; Moore v. Costa.It has also been successfully invoked in cases involving defamation-related claims. See, e.g., Farah v. Esquire Magazine, Inc. (false light invasion of privacy, Lanham Act, misappropriation invasion of privacy); Forras v. Rauf(false light, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress). We can now add intentional interference with existing contracts and tortious interference with business expectancies to the list of claims against which a successful anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss has been made.

In February, several entities owned by Tavis Smiley sued the Public Broadcasting System, alleging that, when PBS indefinitely suspended distribution of the Tavis Smiley show to PBS member stations (after Smiley co-workers accused him of sexual harassment), it breached certain agreements between the parties, as well as interfered with contracts and business expectancies between the Smiley entities and third parties. The complaint claimed PBS’s public statements – that it had received multiple credible allegations of misconduct by Smiley and that it had conducted an investigation into those allegations – were false and defamatory, and led to the alleged cancellation of existing contracts and interference with future business relationships.

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