Former NBA Star Sues Paper, TV And Radio Companies For Defamation
October 18, 2006 at 11:33 AM (PT)
Former NBA star EDDIE JOHNSON is suing the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, CLEAR CHANNEL, PREMIERE, COX ABC affiliate WSB-TV/ATLANTA and WSBTV.COM, and ESPN personality SKIP BAYLESS for mistakenly identifying him as the man arrested for child molestation and burglary in AUGUST. The plaintiff, who played for the UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS and several NBA teams before becoming a broadcaster for ARIZONA STATE basketball and, later, the PHOENIX SUNS, was confused by the TRIBUNE with another former NBA player, also named EDDIE JOHNSON, who was arrested on AUGUST 8 and has a criminal record; BAYLESS, substituting for JIM ROME, read part of the report on the air but quickly retracted it when he discovered the error.
The plaintiff, who seeks over $1 million in damages for negligence, false light, and defamation per se, was in HAWAII at the time of the alleged crimes. ROME, also on vacation at the time, was not named as a defendant in the suit.