Juicy Scoop Podcast reports – Heather McDonald wins court hearing which protects the rights of podcasters to report the news whether it is a report about a world peace summit or celebrity gossip.
On June 24, 2019, Jim Bellino filed a lawsuit in Orange County for defamation against podcaster Healther McDonald. The complaint alleges that McDonald’s podcast guests, Tamara Judge and Shannon Beador, said false statements about Jim and his divorce from former Real Housewives of Orange County cast member, Alexis Bellino.
The First Amendment does not permit public figures to silence critics through lawsuits costing tens of millions of dollars. For this reason, McDonald’s attorney, Jeff Lewis, filed an anti-SLAPP motion to request dismissal of the defamation lawsuit.
On March 9, 2020, Judge Layne Meizer granted the motion and dismissed Bellino’s defamation case.
This win for Heather McDonald protects the rights of podcasters to report the news whether is is about a peace summit or celebrity gossip. Fortunately, California has enacted an anti-SLAPP law which allows defendants like McDonald to get to the front of the line and obtain a quick dismissal of a case.