Laurie Fine’s lawsuit against ESPN was dismissed. Fine, the wife of former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, sued ESPN in 2012 over its reporting about her in relation to the molestation accusations against her husband who was fired in 2011.
“U.S. Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles rejected Laurie Fine’s claims Friday after concluding she was a public figure after serving as a radio personality and inviting public attention to herself and her views about protecting at-risk youth,” according to the Associated Press, which noted the judge said actual malice was not proved.
There was “not one shred of evidence” ESPN knowingly published a false story, the judge said, according to the AP.
ESPN told iMediaEthics by e-mail: “We feel vindicated by the court’s decision.”
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As iMediaEthics wrote at the time, Laurie Fine complained that the ESPN reporting “falsely” claimed she was
- “Creating a space in which children could be sexually molested in secret;
- “Witnessing her husband sexually molest children;
- Not doing anything to stop it;
- “Knowingly permitting the sexual molestation of children in her home;
- “Telling [ballboy] Robert Davis that she knew her husband was sexually molesting him;
- “Having adulterous sex with Robert Davis while he was still in high school;
- “Betraying Robert Davis’ trust by not protecting him from sexual molestation;
- “Having adulterous and dysfunctional sexual relationships with Syracuse basketball team players over the course of many years.”
iMediaEthics has written to Fine’s attorney for comment.
In 2013, Bernie Fine dropped his libel lawsuit against ESPN, as iMediaEthics reported.