Currently generating a new wish list, since all my wishes were granted over the Holidays.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Could Tom Cruise sue South Park?

Will Tom Cruise sick his Scientologist lawyers on Matt Parker and Trey Stone? It may happen as a result of the "Trapped in the Closet" episode that I wrote about here.

Julie Hilden, a Yale Law Graduate, attorney, and freelance writer, says,"no"

Actually here is some of what she says:
In sum, a Cruise-versus-"South Park" suit would almost certainly be dismissed on First Amendment grounds. Moreover, such a suit -- depending on the way it was framed -- might arguably be as ethically problematic, as it is legally problematic, at least for those who believe that bias against homosexuals is wrong.

Cruise has chosen, in the past, not only to challenge allegations that he cheated or lied to cover up his alleged homosexuality, but also to directly challenge allegations that he is gay. In 2001, Cruise's attorney Bert Fields was quoted saying to E! Online, that "[Cruise] is a great respecter of homosexual rights, but he's not gay, and he's ready to prove this in court. Tom is tired of it and it hurts his children. It's something that will be there forever. And damn it, he's going to stop it." (Emphasis added).

If Cruise is truly a great respecter of homosexual rights, then to comport with his own ethical beliefs, he should have been more careful in crafting his past suit.

Cruise already had a strong suit based on suggestions that he was an adulterer and a liar -- cheating on his wife and misrepresenting the character of their marriage to the public. Did he need to also directly take aim at the statement that he was gay?

The final section of the article brought up an issue I hadn't entirely thought about before. Should courts permit claims of defamation simply because someone labels you as a homosexual? Is there any damage done to the reputation because of a false homosexual accusation? I think not, but read the article and make up your own mind.

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