The Huffington Post is being sued for libel over an article that referenced the 1984 death of one of Robert F. Kennedy’s sons.
Mississippi man Derrick Evans is suing the Huffington Post and the reporter of its article, Ashley Feinberg, alleging the article defamed him and a friend named Douglas Kennedy by claiming they “helped arrange the purchase and delivery of cocaine that resulted” in David Kennedy’s death. Evans’ lawsuit says he didn’t help buy or “score” cocaine for David Kennedy, but rather he “actively assisted law enforcement in identifying and prosecuting the individuals who actually sold the illegal narcotics to David Kennedy.”
The lawsuit claims Evans wasn’t contacted for comment before publication, and that the Huffington Post posted a correction after Kennedy complained, which made matters worse.
That correction said, “This article previously stated incorrectly that Doug Kennedy was involved in helping his brother to purchase drugs in 1984. Kennedy was only sharing a room with Derrick Evans, who helped David purchase the drugs, according to an affidavit obtained by the New York Times. We regret the error.”
The Huffington Post’s Sept. 20, 2018 article, “Former Student: Brett Kavanaugh’s Prep School Party Scene was a ‘Free-for-All,'” reported on Georgetown Preparatory School, and featured a Q & A with an anonymous former student who “overlapped at the school” when now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh attended.
It now carries a correction saying it mischaracterized information and removed references to individuals. According to the lawsuit, that was added after Evans complained in September 2018, The correction reads:
“CORRECTION: This article previously mischaracterized the involvement of individuals in a drug purchase. References to those individuals and the incident have been removed. We regret the error. Additionally, certain references by the former student to specific individuals have been removed to better reflect the intended purpose of the article: to provide a former student’s general characterizations of the party culture.”
iMediaEthics has written to Oath, the parent company for HuffPost, and Feinberg.
Evans’ attorney John Sneed told iMediaEthics that Evans is only suing over the Huffington Post article as of now.