Pete Rose’s defamation lawsuit against attorney John Dowd will move forward based on a ruling by a federal judge in Philadelphia. Rose filed the lawsuit after Dowd accused him of statutory rape in two separate radio interviews.
In an interview aired on WCHE in West Chester in 2015, Dowd stated Rose’s associate, Michael Bertolini, “… not only ran bets but he ran young girls for him down at spring training, ages 12 to 14. Prior to that, Dowd had told sports radio personality Jim Rome that Bertolini was “… running young women down in Florida for [Rose’s] satisfaction.”
In response to the accusations, Bertolini issued a statement denying the allegation.
Rose and his attorneys stated that the accusations affected his contractual relationship with the Skechers shoe company. US District Judge Petrese B. Tucker ruled the defamation lawsuit can proceed, but that Rose had failed to show the accusations interfered with his relationship with Skechers.
Dowd is called on to speak on matters regarding Rose because he was appointed by Major League Baseball as a special counsel to the commissioner during the investigation into Rose’s betting on baseball games.
The accusations regarding gambling ultimately resulted in Rose’s lifetime ban from the game. And though Rose’s reputation suffered as a result of the ban, most would agree he still has a right to privacy. Unfortunately, Dowd thought it was acceptable to repeat unsubstantiated rumors about Rose because he had admitted to gambling.
Defamation Lawsuit against CBS News
It’s important to note, even if a person is guilty of improper conduct, it does not give other people free reign to pile on with slanderous allegations. Currently, our firm has a similar, though lower profile, case against CBS News regarding a pharmacist who was a victim of slander and defamation. The pharmacist was named in a news story on the opioid epidemic in West Virginia, and as a result, his professional character was called into question.
Though the investigation was factual, the statements made regarding the pharmacist were unproven. Making false statements about a person, no matter how many other mistakes that person has made, can result in a lawsuit. Just because someone has shown a lapse in judgement in one area does not automatically make him or her guilty of other crimes.
Are You a Victim of Defamation?
In order for defamation to have occurred, there not only must be false negative statements made publicly, but there also must be actual, quantifiable harm done. False statements that do no harm are not illegal.
Furthermore, a person accusing another of defamation must be able to prove the statements were made, based on witness statements, audio recordings, or another type of record. In the Rose case, the proof is in the radio interviews given by Dowd.
We’ve handled a variety of defamation lawsuit and we take these cases very seriously. We know it can be difficult to prove defamation and slander, but we also know it’s worth it if you have been harmed by false or misleading statements.
The first amendment does not grant someone’s right to accuse you of a crime without a factual basis. If you believe you have been a victim of defamation and you would like to speak to an experienced attorney, contact Heavens Law at 888.897.5377.