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Brea Bennett at Twistys

December 09, 1999 02:58pm
Dr. Laura Dissed in Court
Source: News Wire

(COSTA MESA, CA) -- Radio advice maven Dr. Laura Schlessinger might have to get some therapy herself after this.

Her $1 million slander suit against a surf shop owner was dismissed yesterday by a California judge--but the countersuit he filed against her has been green-lighted.

It all started when Dr. Laura and her son were out shopping at Beach Access in Costa Mesa, California. According to court papers, the radio moralist was browsing though some magazines when she happened across a copy of the Larry Flynt-published Big Brother Skateboarding, and was shocked--shocked!--to see sexually explicit photos.

The next day on her nationally syndicated talk show, Dr. Laura recounted the incident, accusing store owner Tom Moore of deliberately stocking "stealth pornography."

Moore then went public to defend himself, insisting his store never ordered or bought the magazine and effectively calling the pop psychiatrist a liar. Dr. Laura responded by slapping him with the $1 million slander suit.

In her complaint, she claimed her comments "were not directed at the persons who owned the store, or motivated by malice, but instead were wrought with her true dedication to putting an end to the inappropriate exposure of children to obscene and pornographic material."

But Orange County Superior Court Judge John Watson tossed out the doctor's lawsuit under a state law designed to protect individuals from frivolous suits (read: Dr. Laura's grievance was a waste of time). To make matters worse for Dr. Laura, the judge's ruling allows the defamation suit Moore filed against her in October to remain intact.

"Dr. Laura is understandably disappointed in the decision, but apart from that, she has no further comment," her spokesperson said.

Moore's suit charges Dr. Laura with slander, invasion of privacy, painting him in a false light and intentionally trying to harm his business.

"Both the business and my client's reputations were substantially damaged," Moore's lawyer, Andrew Guilford, told Los Angeles' City News Service. "How would you like 18 million people to be told you're trying to harm children?"

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