Did Tom Cruise Just File a SLAPP?

Feb 19, 13

Adrianos Facchetti, a federal anti-SLAPP legislation supporter, recently posted on the California Defamation Law Blog about a lawsuit that Tom Cruise filed against Bauer Publishing:

“Having just heard that Tom Cruise filed a lawsuit against Bauer Publishing (same company that David Beckham sued for alleged libel), I decided to read the Complaint myself rather than rely on secondhand accounts in the papers.

After reading the Complaint, it’s clear that both of the claims (defamation and invasion of privacy) fall under the first prong of the anti-SLAPP statute. No surprise here. Tom Cruise is an actor and just about anything he does–including stories about his daughter–would be considered a matter of public interest. So, then, the issue is whether he’ll be able to show a probability of prevailing on the merits. Well, it depends on a number of different things. But by far the most important will be whether the appointed judge allows Cruise to conduct discovery while the motion is pending and what that discovery turns up. A key issue in this case will be whether Cruise–as a public figure–can show that Bauer published the alleged defamatory statements with knowledge of falsity or a reckless disregard for the truth by clear and convincing evidence. As David Beckham knows, since his lawsuit was dismissed at the District Court level, this is a very heavy burden to meet. In most cases, the public figure is unable to put together evidence sufficient to get past the anti-SLAPP stage.”

Read more from Adrianos Facchetti at the California Defamation Law Blog here:


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