Ya know, celebrities aren’t the only ones who sue newspapers. I know it might seem that way if you follow the news. For example, you might have heard (since it was all over the press yesterday) that David Beckham just sued In Touch magazine for saying he had “a threesome with call-girl Irma Nici.” Demi Moore just settled a case against an Australian tabloid for publishing a “series of black and white shots of herself, her daughter Rumer Willis, rapper P. Diddy, and actors Cameron Diaz and Orlando Bloom.” (Not that we’re ignoring Paris Hilton’s recently successful suit against Hallmark for using her picture and her catchphrase, "That's Hot!", but let’s get back to newspapers.)
Yesterday, a New York City federal judge refused to dismiss an employment retaliation case against the New York Post, filed by, “Sandra Guzman, a black and Puerto Rican associate editor [who] alleged she was fired September 29, 2009, in retaliation for her complaints over inappropriate conduct, including one senior executive she accused of referring to her as "Cha Cha #1." According to the Huffington Post (which has the actual court ruling):
In her complaint, Guzman leveled several headline-grabbing charges about the Post's working environment. Editor-in-Chief Col Allen was painted as sexist and domineering -- allegedly showing a picture of a "naked man lewdly and openly displaying his penis." Guzman said she was subjected to misogynistic taunts, including being called "Cha Cha #1." With respect to the paper's editorial slants, not especially pertinent to her lawsuit, Guzman said the Post's D.C. bureau chief stated that the publication's goal was to "destroy Barack Obama."
Of course, this raise some thorny First Amendment issues, which the Court addressed this way:
Mindful of the First Amendment protections enjoyed by newspaper organizations, the court notes that plaintiff has sufficiently alleged that she objected not just to the paper's content but to the general work environment at the Post and the way the editorial staff dealt with the publication of the content at issue.