You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jackson’s ‘Hard Copy’ suit dismissed

Entertainer Michael Jackson’s $100 million lawsuit against former “Hard Copy” reporter Diane Dimond, the show’s parent Paramount Pictures, and KABC Radio was dismissed by an L.A. Superior Court judge Friday. The singer’s lawsuit against another defendant, freelance writer Victor Gutierrez, will go forward. A trial start date will be set on June 2.

The case was being closely followed by attorneys for celebrities, as a ruling in favor of Jackson could have resulted in the lowering of the commonly used threshold for determining liability when false stories about public figures are published. Typically, celebs must prove that execs at the shows or newspapers either knew their stories were false or were reckless or malicious when they were reported in order to get a favorable verdict.

Jackson filed the $100 million lawsuit a week after Dimond appeared on KABC morning show Ken and Barkley on Jan. 9 and discussed a segment that would appear on that evening’s “Hard Copy,” in which Gutierrez would claim to have seen a videotape depicting Jackson having sex with a minor.

It was also alleged that the L.A. District Attorney’s office had reopened its investigation into child molestation allegations brought against the singer.

“We’ve already proven that the story about the tape was false, and Gutierrez is still on the hook,” Zia Modabber, Jackson’s attorney, told Daily Variety. “Although I haven’t spoken with my client yet, I expect that we will appeal the judge’s ruling, because (the acts of the defendant’s) really did cross the line.”

Judge Reginald Dunn issued his seven-page ruling the day after attorneys for both sides, excluding Gutierrez, argued during a summary judgment hearing.

Such a hearing is held to determine whether the plaintiff has a likelihood of prevailing on its claims at trial based on what has been discovered so far during the litigation.

Patricia Glaser, attorney for Par, said she was pleased with the ruling.

More Scene

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream hosted by AT&T and from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized [...]

  • Emile Hirsch, Matt SmileyEmile Hirsch hosts

    Emile Hirsch Hosts Smiley Face Art Opening at Mondrian Hotel

    Despite the rain on Wednesday night in West Hollywood, there were plenty of smiles inside the Mondrian hotel thanks to artist Matt Smiley‘s Refresh exhibition. Not only is Smiley his real last name, but several of his paintings and other pieces in the exhibit feature smiley faces. “I’ve seen more smiley symbolism lately, and I’ve [...]

  • Randall Park, left, and Constance Wu

    Constance Wu Wants Her 'Fresh Off the Boat' Co-Star Randall Park to Host the Oscars

    While the Academy may have decided to go hostless for this year’s Oscars, that doesn’t mean the rest of Hollywood has stopped thinking about who would be a good choice for the emceeing gig. Former host Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested Ken Jeong. Jeong said, when he was a guest on “The View,” Goldberg told him [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content