Business News Legal Media

Appeals court says Pras could refile his libel action against New York Post over alleged charity gig no-show

By | Published on Tuesday 8 March 2016

Page Six Pras

One time Fugee Pras could re-file a previously reported libel lawsuit against the New York Post, which was initially thrown out by the court on the basis the offending piece was more opinion than fact, and the rapper had failed to show that the tabloid acted with malice.

Pras went legal over an article in the Post’s Page Six gossip section regarding his involvement in a charity and benefit gig, which included the allegation the rapper was a “no show” at “his own 9/11 benefit concert”.

The Post originally managed to have the lawsuit dismissed, partly on the basis that the article mainly constituted opinion rather than alleged fact. And this argument was in part based on the fact the piece appeared in the gossip rather than the news section of the paper.

But on appeal, judges have rejected that argument, with one judge noting that “[the fact the] article appeared on Page Six – a well-known gossip column – does not require us to conclude that reasonable readers would interpret the reporting of facts on the page to be statements of opinion”.

But, says the appeals court, the original judge was right to say that, because – in his opinion – Pras had not demonstrated that the Post acted with “actual malice” by running the gossip piece, he was empowered to dismiss the action. Which he did.

Though, say the appeal judges, because that was, with hindsight, the only reason the libel action was thrown out, Pras should have been given the option to file new evidence in a bid to meet the “actual malice” requirement. Which is something the rapper could now do if he wishes to continue pursuing this action.