Libel Lawsuit Against Harvard Crimson Dismissed
From Judge Richard Stearns (D. Mass.) today, in Clopper v. Harvard University:
Plaintiff’s defamation claim (Count VII) relies on three alleged defamatory statements made by the Crimson: (1) that [Eric] Clopper “improperly worked on the play during work hours,” (2) that he “is anti-Semitic”; and (3) that he “engaged in a ‘nude, anti-Semitic rant’ in Harvard’s Sanders Theatre.” The court determines that none of these statements is actionable.
The first statement, for example, is not reasonably capable of a defamatory meaning because it is demonstrably true. The Complaint directly acknowledges that plaintiff worked on his play during work hours, see Compl. para. 12, and while plaintiff appears to suggest that the Crimson falsely characterized this work as “improper,” review of the article itself reveals no mention of the propriety of any work he did on his play during work hours.
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