Legal trouble with Rutgers player only beginning for Imus - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

Legal trouble with Rutgers player only beginning for Imus

Email


by Associated Press


NEW YORK

On the same day Don Imus settled a lawsuit with CBS Radio after being fired for making sexist and racist comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, his legal troubles with one of the players began.

Kia Vaughn filed a slander and defamation of character lawsuit Tuesday in state Supreme Court in the Bronx the same day Imus settled with CBS Radio in a deal that pre-empts his threatened $120 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against CBS.

Vaughn’s lawsuit, believed to be the first by a player in the case, says Imus and his former co-host Bernard McGuirk along with CBS Corp., CBS Radio, MSNBC and other media outlets that broadcast his show are legally responsible for damage done to her character and reputation. There is no dollar amount listed in the suit.

Vaughn’s attorney, Richard Ancowitz, said, “The full effect of the damage remains to be seen.”

“This is about Kia Vaughn’s good name,” Ancowitz said. “She would do anything to return to her life as a student and respected basketball player a more simple life before Imus opened his mouth.”

Imus referred to the basketball players as “nappy-headed hos” on his nationally syndicated radio program April 4 and became the target of heated protests led by the Rev. Al Sharpton. He was fired shortly after. But he overcame a major hurdle in his widely expected comeback with the settlement Tuesday. It’s possible he will return to the air.

The Vaughn suit claims that the comments were made in the context of a news or sports report and therefore Imus had certain standards to abide by but ignored them. The suit reprints the script from the “Imus in the Morning” show on which the comments were made.

“The … false, defamatory, sexually denigrating and slanderous statements and comments against the women athletes of said basketball team were heard, believed and understood by millions of listeners … as factual pronouncements concerning the character, chastity and reputation of the plaintiff,” the lawsuit says.

Vaughn was humiliated, embarrassed and publicly mocked for the comments, the suit claims.

After the comments were made, she said at a press conference: “Unless they’ve given ‘ho’ a whole new definition, that’s not what I am.”

A telephone message left for Imus’ attorney was not immediately returned Tuesday. There was no phone listing for McGuirk in the New York area. A spokeswoman for CBS Radio declined to comment, and CBS network spokesman Dana McClintock did not immediately return a message. MSNBC said it hadn’t seen the lawsuit.

Rutgers women’s basketball program spokeswoman Stacey Brann said the university had no comment on the lawsuit. She said she didn’t know if other players had filed lawsuits.

Vaughn, a junior from the Bronx who was a center on the team, had spoken out about Imus on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show in April. She said the comments overshadowed her team’s amazing season one the coach has called the most rewarding of her career.

“Our moment was stolen from us,” Vaughn said. “Instead of us coming here to enjoy what we accomplished and how far we came, we had to sit back and look at media asking questions about what he said.”

– Associated Press



© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com

RELATED ARTICLES >>
Student-Athletes Share Perspectives at Intercollegiate Athletics Forum  Giving student-athletes opportunities to achieve academic excellence was a recurring theme at this year’s Intercollegiate Athletics Forum held in New York City this week.  How do colleges and universities make sure that student-athletes are havin...
Black Students Voice Concerns After Kansas State Racist Incidents MANHATTAN, Kan. — Black students at Kansas State University voiced concerns about recent racist incidents at a meeting with top school officials on Wednesday night after a car was found near campus earlier in the day scrawled with racial slurs and th...
Ex-Univ. of Iowa Wrestler Released on Bond in Cheating Case DAVENPORT, Iowa — A former University of Iowa wrestler has been released on bond after appearing in court to face federal computer fraud charges in a large-scale academic misconduct scandal. Trevor Graves appeared Thursday before a magistrate at t...
University of Hartford Student Faces Bias Charge for Endangering Roommate Shortly after moving into her dorm, Jazzy Rowe, a freshman at the University of Hartford, began experiencing severe throat pain. She had trouble eating and sleeping, and none of her doctors were able to identify the cause. “I would try to whisper,...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *