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COURT TOSSES KNICK STAR’S DEFAMATION SUIT NEW YORK � An appeals panel has thrown out ex-New York Knick Latrell Sprewell’s defamation suit against a New York Post sportswriter. In reversing the lower court, the Appellate Division, 1st Department, held that Sprewell failed to present any evidence that “actual malice” motivated Marc Berman to write that the basketball star may have fractured his finger by accidentally punching a wall during a fight at a party on his yacht. “Assuming, arguendo, that defendants’ statements regarding how plaintiff injured his hand and his alleged attempt to cover up the incident are false, the Post and Berman are entitled to summary judgment,” Justice John Buckley wrote for the unanimous panel in Sprewell v. NYP Holdings, 521. “The information was not reported as incontrovertible fact, but rather cautioned the reader that it was based on two confidential witnesses and was denied by plaintiff,” Buckley said. “The record demonstrates that Berman subjectively believed the informants, whose partial description of the interior of plaintiff’s boat provided additional indicia of reliability.” In a series of articles for the New York Post, Berman contested Sprewell’s versions of the injuries’ origins, reporting that he may have injured his hand during an altercation involving a drunken, vomiting woman who refused to leave his yacht party at McKinley Marina in Milwaukee.

New York Law Journal

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