Important Appellate Win Against The Hollywood Reporter

In 2017, we filed a libel case in Chicago against Prometheus Global Media, publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, on behalf of a client called Nicole Basile. In a disgraceful example of reckless journalism, THR published an article which clearly implied that Nicole was responsible for the Sony hack-attack. This was false, but the article devastated Nicole’s career.
After we beat all 4 of Prometheus anti-SLAPP and jurisdictional motions in the trial court, Prometheus appealed. On JUne 30, 2020, the Illinois Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decisions, establishing some important issues.
The case will now proceed to trial. The main facts are not in dispute – the disagreement is over whether the statements in the THR article are defamatory, and the appellate court found that they certainly are, e.g., ¶58: “the article clearly and unmistakably conveyed that plaintiff was the ex Sony-employee responsible for the cyber attack. Thus, the article is defamatory on its face.” It doesn’t come clearer than that.
Kudos to our co-counsel, Rod Smolla (author of Smolla on Defamation), for great work.


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