A federal judge has ordered a white supremacist website to pay writer and comedian Dean Obeidallah $4.1 million for knowingly publishing a false article about him.
As The New York Times reported, the judgment was handed down last week. The case stemmed from an article published on the fringe website The Daily Stormer in June 2017 that accused Obeidallah, who appears on CNN and writes for several news websites, of being a terrorist who orchestrated the Manchester, England bombing attack at an Ariana Grande concert.
The claim was false, and it came after Obeidallah wrote a piece about white racism for The Daily Beast.
The Daily Stormer responded to the column with a story written by its publisher Andrew Anglin, who wrote Obeidallah told people he was behind the bombing attack. Doctored tweets accompanied the article. Obeidallah, a Muslim, received death threats after the article was published, and he eventually filed a lawsuit against the website.
The monetary judgment was awarded after Anglin failed to appear at any of the court hearings as part of the case. It is not known how much of the $4.1 million Anglin will dole out.
"We want to collect some money because that's a more powerful message than just a judgment on paper," Obeidallah told the Times. "We're going to give it to organizations that fight white supremacy, run by the very people these guys hate, like Muslims, African-Americans, Jewish Americans, and the LGBTQ community."
In an opinion piece for CNN last week, Obeidallah wrote his intention in filing the lawsuit had nothing to do with money.
"It was about sending a message to these vile white supremacists and their ilk that they will not silence me or members of the other groups they despise, be they blacks, Jews, LGBT people, immigrants, etc.," he wrote. "We will neither cower in fear nor stop calling out their hate. And more than that, we will take them to court and we will win."
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