By: Staff reports
Public Figure Status To Be Reconsidered
The Georgia Court of Appeals has agreed to review a lower-
court ruling that Richard Jewell became a public figure by granting several interviews after the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, according to Reuters.
The earlier ruling hampered Jewell’s chances of winning a libel suit against the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A 1996 Olympics security guard, Jewell is suing Cox Communications, the parent company of the Atlanta daily, for reporting in a special edition that he was under investigation by U.S. agents.
As a public figure, Jewell would have to prove that the paper knowingly printed false information. If the appeals court reverses the earlier ruling, Jewell can sue as a private person, only needing to prove that the news organization showed negligence and carelessness in reporting defamatory allegations.
The appeals court announced its decision a day after American Broadcasting Co. (ABC) settled a suit with Jewell for $5,000.
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