From our 1:15 am desk
This all started with Jessica van Sack’s Boston Herald report on May 28, 2009 (the hardreading staff can’t link to it because bostonherald.com is the Lindsay Lohan of websites) that claimed local prisoner advocate Joanna Marinova had sex with a convicted murderer at the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater on May 7, 2009.
And it sort of culminated in yesterday’s Suffolk Superior Court verdict that found for Marinova to the tune of $563,052.
Boston Herald version (by Herald Staff):
Jury finds against Herald in libel suit
A Suffolk Superior Court jury today found the Boston Herald responsible for defamation in a case arising from a May 28, 2009 article regarding a prison visit involving Joanna Marinova at Old Colony Prison in Bridgewater earlier that month. The newspaper states that it expects to “ultimately prevail in this matter.”
“The Herald has stated since its May 28, 2009 article on a major security breach at Old Colony Prison was published that its article was entirely correct, from its headline to its last line,” the Herald said in a statement. “The article was meticulously researched, carefully written and extremely well documented. We are proud of it and the journalist who wrote it.”
Here’s the Herald’s full statement.
STATEMENT OF THE BOSTON HERALD
The Herald has stated since its May 28, 2009 article on a major security breach at Old Colony Prison was published that its article was entirely correct, from its headline to its last line. The article was meticulously researched, carefully written and extremely well-documented. We are proud of it, and of the journalist who wrote it.
The article was not only excellent, but important, leading as it did to a Department of Corrections investigation and certain reform measures. Lawsuits like the one filed here are serious threats not only to the rights of a free and robust press, but to the rights of the citizenry that expects, and depends upon, that free and robust press.
The Herald fully expects to ultimately prevail in this matter.
Crosstown at the Boston Globe, it’s a very different story (by John Ellement).
Boston Herald loses defamation suit; Boston woman wins $563,052 award
A Suffolk Superior Court jury awarded a Boston woman $563,052 in damages after concluding that she was defamed by a 2009 Boston Herald story that falsely said she had been “written up” by prison officials for having sex with a convicted murderer.
Joanna Marinova sued the newspaper and Herald reporter Jessica Van Sack for the story, which the newspaper published on May 28, 2009. In the verdict they reached after deliberating for about 15 hours, jurors concluded that three parts of the story were false and that two of them defamed Marinova, according to her attorney and the verdict slip.
Lifetime Movie of the Week nut graf:
[Marinova’s lawyer David H.] Rich said [convicted murderer Darrell] Jones and Marinova later married, but have since divorced.
The Herald plans to appeal.
Lots of story appeal, yeah?