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Suit goes after ‘Affair,’ Cosmo

A pair of Montecito real estate agents have sued the producers of “A Current Affair” and the publisher of Cosmopolitan magazine over stories that allegedly imply they were involved in a murder.

Janet Allison St. Clair and Geoffrey St. Clair, in a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, said that friends and relatives of the late Lester Berman had conspired to defame them in statements to Cosmopolitan and “A Current Affair.”

The suit seeks an injunction barring harassment and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. According to the suit, Berman invaded their home on July 14, 1992, and attempted to murder Geoffrey, who, “in self defense,” caused Berman’s death.

“A Current Affair,” produced by STF Prods. Inc. and Twentieth TV, did a story on the case last year. Cosmopolitan ran a story last May entitled “Sex, Lies and Sudden Death in Santa Barbara.” Both allegedly also libeled the St. Clairs by stating that Geoffrey acted as a real estate agent without a license.

Also named as defendants are Berman’s son Gregory, who, the suit alleges, assaulted Janet St. Clair with a motor vehicle last November; friends Morrie Goldstein and Matt McLaughlin; and Cosmo writer Christopher Knapp.

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