Green’s statement also said he and O’Reilly “withdraw any assertion that any extortion by Ms. Mackris, Mr. Morelli” or his law firm occurred.
Proclamation. Let’s go.
About the above sentence, Beldarblog writes:
That, my friends, is eating crow bigtime. That, my friends, is a settlement-mandated mitigation of damages that otherwise might continue to accrue for a defamation claim on Ms. Mackris’ behalf.
Accusing someone of commiting a crime like extortion, if untrue, may be defamatory “per se” â€” meaning that an accusation that someone’s a criminal is conclusively presumed to be injurious to his or her reputation; it may not necessarily be defamatory if, for example, it’s true, but there’s no dispute that it would cause members of the public to think less of the accusee.
While there’s a privilege for making such accusations in court filings, that privilege may not extend to accusations that are republished by the accusers outside the courtroom. There’s no way that O’Reilly’s and Fox et al.’s lawyers would have made the admission that the extortion claim was unfounded unless they were simultaneously receiving a release from Ms. Mackris that would cover her potential defamation claims as part of the overall package; and it’s something they’d only give up grudgingly.
My hunch is that Ms. Mackris’ counsel painted his demand for such an admission as a “deal-killer point” in the negotiations; their side might have gotten more money if they’d dropped that demand, but they were unwilling to do so.
What’s also missing from the press release that one would normally expect to see is a statement to the effect that by agreeing to settle all claims of all parties, no party was admitting any liability and no party was admitting that any other party’s factual allegations or claims had any validity. That’s probably exactly what the settlement documents themselves say, and it’s usually something that a defendant insists on being able to say publicly.
But in the press release, there’s only a weaker statement that “there was no wrongdoing whatsoever by Mr. O’Reilly, Ms. Mackris, or Ms. Mackris’ counsel.” Again, my strong hunch is that Ms. Mackris and her counsel objected to any broader statement than this one, knowing that it would have been spun by Mr. O’Reilly’s and Fox et al.’s lawyers as part of a “these claims were bogus but would’ve been expensive to litigate, blah blah” meme.
Still waiting for Karol post on the subject.
Oh, and did y’all know that she thought “[t]he fact that Golan dropped the charges definitely lead me to believe he was extorting McGreevey”?
Yeah, me neither since she didn’t post about it. But there it is in black and white.
Ahhh, just when I was wondering what I’d be blogging about when the election was over.