Corey Clark Loses Defamation Lawsuit Against MTV
Posted by Joseph Lee on 05.26.2014
He wanted $40 million...
According to The Hollywood Reporter, former American Idol contestant Corey Clark, who was disqualified and later said he had an affair with then-judge Paula Abdul, lost a $40 million defamation lawsuit against MTV and parent company Viacom. He sued in July 2012 over statements from an MTV reporter who claimed that he was disqualified after hiding an assault arrest (in which he allegedly attacked his sister) from producers. He was joined by former contestant Jaered Andrews who was also unhappy about why MTV said he was disqualified.
Clark was reported by various sources to have been "disqualified for lying about a hairy domestic dispute," "booted for concealing his arrest record on battery charges," and "booted for not disclosing his rap sheet." US District judge William Haynes said that the statements are "comments upon or characterizations of published facts" and don't count as libel. He added that the news was also reported by reputable publications like The Tennessean, The Boston Herald, Cleveland's The Plain Dealer, The Chicago Sun-Times and People magazine.
Andrews was upset about a report that he was "sent home over undisclosed assault charges". The judge said that he admitted he was "charged with one misdemeanor account of 'simple assault.' " That means the statement is true and isn't actionable as libel.
Clark tried other legal measures to hurt MTV but failed. A claim under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act was dismissed because the statements mentioned by Clark are opinions. A claim under Tennessee's Personal Rights Protection Act was dismissed because his name wasn't used with any advertisement in the statements. A claim for false light invasion of privacy was dismissed because the statements were true.
Clark has pending lawsuits against E! Entertainment and Fox over statements made about his departure from Idol and his affair with Abdul. Clark and Andrews are two of several former Idol contestants suing over the large amount of disqualifications of African-American contestants, which they claims is willful discrimination.