Don King Sues Disney, ESPN for $2.5 Billion
STUART, FL (Dec. 7, 2005) — This week famed attorney Willie Gary and his legal team scored a big victory in the Don King defamation and false light lawsuit. Judge Jose E. Martinez ruled in favor of the Gary team by granting their motion to remand the case back to state court. This decision comes after the defense requested that the case be removed from state court and attempted to have it dismissed in federal court.
Legendary boxing promoter Don King filed a $2.5 billion lawsuit against corporate giants Disney, ESPN, ABC Cable Networks and Advocate Communications Inc., last January, for airing a highly defamatory and reckless broadcast against King on Sports Century that also portrays King in a false light.
“We are delighted with Judge Martinez’s decision to remand the case back to state court,” said Gary. “This victory will be one of many as we continue to battle on behalf of our clients.
“Disney, ESPN, and other defendants had a duty to the public to make sure they checked their facts before airing such a defamatory piece against Don King. Sports Century not only falsely portrays Mr. King as a con artist, and a thug, but it published statements that are flat out untrue and could have been easily verified. In America, the press must be held accountable for the truth and accuracy of its publications and broadcasts. When the media publish or broadcast statements that show such reckless disregard for the truth, they must give an account for their actions.”
The lawsuit also contends that Disney, ESPN, and other defendants broadcast statements that intentionally and recklessly portray Don King in a false light and create an inference and innuendo that King was dishonest and engaged in illegal activities including physically endangering others in order to succeed in his profession.
Gary, who is best known in the legal circles as a “Giant Killer” in the courtroom, has built his reputation on defending his clients who have been wronged by corporate America. Gary is perhaps best-known as a trial lawyer for his half billion-dollar verdict against Canadian corporate giant the Loewen Group in 1995. Gary is also no stranger to Disney in the courtroom. He won a $240 million verdict against Disney for Disney’s misappropriation of a concept from his client in 2000. Last year Gary also won a landmark case for millions of dollars against media giant Gannett for similar actions as those alleged in Mr. King’s lawsuit against Disney and ESPN.