Courtesy : GoodMorningAmericaABC
The defamation lawsuit filed by former employee of Fox News, Laurie Luhn, against the channel has resulted in a stalemate for Luhn. According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, Fox News and its CEO Suzanne Scott have defeated a $120 million lawsuit from an ex-staffer who alleged she was defamed when Scott denied knowledge of Roger Ailes sexual misconduct in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Laurie Luhn in April sued the company and Scott, alleging that she was sexually abused by Roger Ailes and defamed. Luhn reported the alleged abuse to the U.S. Attorney General's office in 2011 and later settled with Fox News, but says she was "coerced" into agreeing to it.
The Los Angeles Times profiled her in April, and it's that story that sparked Luhn's lawsuit. In it, Scott says she "had no clue what was going on" in Ailes' office, despite being part of his inner circle, and told Fox employees that in meetings about improving the company culture for women.
Luhn alleged Scott's denial that she knew about Ailes' misconduct implied that Luhn fabricated allegations of sexual abuse and a cover-up. Fox in August filed a motion to dismiss the complaint about failure to state a claim.
U.S. District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on Thursday sided with the network.
"Scott’s statements from the Los Angeles Times article were not 'of and concerning' Luhn, and no reasonable reader could have interpreted them as such," writes Friedrich. "Indeed, at no point does the Times article even reference Luhn."
But, even if they could be interpreted as being about Luhn, Friedrich finds Scott's statements weren't defamatory.
"Luhn’s inference — that Scott’s denial of knowledge of any abuse calls into question Luhn’s own allegations of abuse — is not a reasonable one," writes Friedrich. "Indeed, Scott’s other comments for the article — that she 'felt devastated for the women who work here' and 'wanted to do everything [she] could to heal this place' — reflect her apparent belief in Luhn’s (and other women’s) allegations."