Fine law­suit thrown out

Winnipeg Free Press - SundayXtra - - SPORTS -

SYRA­CUSE, N.Y. — A Syra­cuse judge has thrown out a li­bel law­suit brought against ESPN by the wife of a for­mer Syra­cuse Univer­sity as­sis­tant bas­ket­ball coach.

U.S. Mag­is­trate Judge David Pee­bles re­jected Lau­rie Fine’s claims Fri­day. Pee­bles said the 2012 defama­tion claims against ESPN Inc. and an ESPN re­porter and pro­ducer could not stand.

The judge said Fine was a pub­lic fig­ure, mean­ing she would have to prove ac­tual mal­ice. He said it would be un­rea­son­able to con­clude the de­fen­dants acted with ac­tual mal­ice in pub­lish­ing three sto­ries.

Fine is mar­ried to Bernie Fine, a one-time as­sis­tant Syra­cuse coach who was fired by the univer­sity in Novem­ber 2011 af­ter al­le­ga­tions of child mo­lesta­tion against him sur­faced. He was never charged and has adamantly de­nied wrong­do­ing.

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