Redskins owner Dan Snyder filed suit against the free Washington City Paper and its parent company, Atalaya Capital Management, 2/2 in New York state court seeking $2 million in damages plus unspecified punitive damages and court costs. Snyder says in the suit that City Paper libeled and defamed him in a series of articles dating to 2009. On article placed a set of horns on his head, superimposed on a photo.
Snyder, who bought the Redskins from the estate of the lack Jack Kent Cooke when he was 34, specifically claims the City Paper “engaged in an ongoing campaign” to “smear his business and personal reputation,” has published columns in which he “was the subject of derision, ridicule and/or vilification,” and that a particular cover story “featured an anti-Semitic depiction of Mr. Snyder with horns on his head, bushy eyebrows, and surrounded by dollar signs.” The lawsuit claims that the article contained “numerous outrageous, false and defamatory statements of and concerning” Snyder.
“Simply put, no reasonable person would accept the publication of these types of false, malicious, and/or defamatory statements about them or their spouses,” according to the lawsuit. “Nor would any reasonable person tolerate an anti-Semitic caricature of himself or herself prominently displayed on the front pages of a newspaper containing false and malicious allegations.”
Snyder also said Friday that he wants an apology from the paper. A recent article depicted him as the devil and criticized his wife’s role as the NFL spokesperson for breast cancer.
“I’ve never sued the media. I’ve been criticized up and down,” Snyder said. “I’ve been the pinata. But when you cross the line and call me a criminal…and you cross the line and make fun of my wife who is battling breast cancer. And you say her efforts are not pure to breast cancer awareness…you’ve crossed the line and gone too far. All you’ve got to do is apologize and correct it…”
Snyder was a guest on Westwood One’s The Robert Wuhl Show, which has been broadcasting this week live from the site of Super Bowl XLV in North Texas. Snyder can be heard reacting to the suit he filed.
Listen to the exclusive Wuhl interview, at the top of this article.
Meanwhile, The Washington City Paper and its lawyers are standing their ground and ready to defend their actions in court.
The papers’ editor, Michael Schaffer defended the piece: ” I think the facts of the case are on our side very strongly. We have a really good reporter. We have a really good team in place here, this is a news paper that takes corrections very very seriously, so I strongly believe that we have the truth on our side.”
RBR-TVBR observation: This may become a pissing match that could cost quite a bit of money and effort on both sides. A First Amendment Petition is already being circulated against the suit, so the public is getting involved. And, in a letter to the paper’s owners, Snyder’s lawyer David Donovan implies the cost of the suit could bring down the paper “Mr. Snyder has more than sufficient means to protect his reputation…We presume that defending such litigation would not be a rational strategy for [you because]…The cost of litigation would quickly outstrip the asset value of the Washington City paper.”