The Delaware Third Circuit Court dismissed Michael Avenatti’s defamation against Fox News Friday.
Avenatti, a lawyer best known for representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her case against former President Donald Trump, sued the network over their coverage of his 2018 arrest over alleged domestic violence. Avenatti said in the lawsuit that Fox News reported that he was charged with a crime when he was actually never charged in the case.
Judge Stephanos Bibas dismissed the case Friday.
“News outlets are not liable for minor mistakes, especially when reporting on public figures and matters of public concern,” Bibas wrote. “Michael Avenatti, a famous lawyer, was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. Fox News covered his arrest.” (RELATED: ‘You’re Like The Holy Spirit’: A Look Back On The Media’s Love Affair With Michael Avenatti)
A judge has dismissed Michael Avenatti’s lawsuit against Fox News.
He alleged defamation, saying Fox News made sloppy errors in how it covered his 2018 arrest on suspicions of domestic violence.
The judge said: “News outlets are not liable for minor mistakes.” pic.twitter.com/FEWk2eKcc7
— Jan Wolfe (@JanNWolfe) August 13, 2021
Bibas said that most of Fox News’ “statements were substantially true” and wrote that “Avenatti does not plausibly plead that Fox or its employees knew that the statements were false or recklessly disregarded that possibility.”
“He also fails to allege any recoverable damages,” the judge added.
A Fox News Media spokesperson praised the decision in a statement to the Daily Caller.
“We are pleased with the Court’s swift decision in favor of FOX News,” the spokesperson said. “Today’s ruling is a victory for journalists everywhere, who should not be intimidated into silence when bullies like Michael Avenatti file baseless multimillion-dollar lawsuits.”