Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio has filed a lawsuit against CNN, its president Jeff Zucker, HuffPost, Rolling Stone, and other news media figures for defamation and false light, asking for $300 million Law & Crime reports.
Arpaio filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in D.C., naming Zucker, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, CNN, HuffPost political reporter Kevin Robillard, HuffPost, Rolling Stone writer Tessa Stuart, and Rolling Stone itself as defendants.
“Plaintiff Arpaio has been the target of three separate defamatory publications that falsely refer to and defamed him per se as a convicted felon,” the filing claims.
The complaint notes that Arpaio is planning on running for Senate again in Arizona, this time for the seat vacated by the late Sen. John McCain, and that his “distinguished 55-year law enforcement and political career has been severely harmed, as his reputation has been severely damaged among and with the Republican establishment."
The filing refers to a CNN broadcast on January 10, 2018, about Arpaio’s attempted Senate campaign in Arizona.
“At the 3-second mark, Defendant Cuomo falsely and with reckless disregard for the truth stated that Plaintiff Arpaio was a ‘convicted felon.’ Plaintiff Arpaio has never been convicted of a felony.”
Stuart referred to Arpaio as an “ex-felon” in a Rolling Stone article published on Nov. 13, 2018. The article was later corrected.
“This post has been updated to reflect the fact that Joe Arpaio’s criminal conviction for contempt of court was a misdemeanor, not a felony,” reads a note from the editor. “He received a presidential pardon in 2017. We regret the error.”
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