By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Boston Herald settles libel suit

In a final coda to a longstanding libel suit, the Associated Press reports that the Boston Herald has agreed to pay $900,000 to Joanna Marinova, the woman whom the paper had falsely claimed engaged in “sexual acts” with an inmate she was visiting at Bridgewater state prison.

I’m not sure why there seems to be such a disparity between the $900,000 reported by the AP and the $563,000 cited last March by attorney Jeffrey Pyle in a guest commentary for Media Nation.

The details of the case are enormously complex. Here is what I wrote when the jury verdict against the Herald was handed down. It includes links to more background information.

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  1. The principal reason the number is higher is pre-judgment interest, Dan. The rest is probably costs.

    Interest on the $563k runs at 12% from the inception of the suit.

  2. Mike Benedict

    Dan, any comment on Alan Dershowitz’s call for a Congressional investigation into which Administration official allegedly badmouthed Netanyahu?

    Here’s what jumped out at me: “Congress has an obligation to get to the bottom of this foreign policy mess. It need not subpoena the journalist, who will surely invoke reportorial privilege.”

    (It’s really a bizarre column, btw.)

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Mike: I hadn’t seen Dershowitz’s column. I disagree with him about a congressional investigation, but I do think the White House should find out who said this and fire him (or them). It would also be interesting to know what Goldberg thought the ground rules were.

      • Mike Benedict

        It was the assumption of “reportorial privilege” comment that piqued my interest.

        • Dan Kennedy

          Well, there is none, especially at the federal level.

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