Nomvuyo Mzamane v. Huffington Post

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

10/03/2008

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Pennsylvania

Disposition: 

Retraction Issued
Settled (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
On October 3, 2008, Nomvuyo Mzamane, the former headmistress of Oprah Winfrey's South African Leadership Academy for Girls, filed a defamation lawsuit in Pennsylvania state court against online news site and group blog The Huffington Post, its owner Ariana Huffington, and... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

HuffingtonPost.com Inc.; Ariana Huffington; Joan Stewart; Media Relations Consulting Inc.

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Location of Party: 

  • Pennsylvania

Location of Party: 

  • New York
  • Wisconsin

Legal Counsel: 

Ron Coleman - Goetz Fitzpatrick LLP (for Defendant Stewart); Mary Mulligan - Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP (for Defendant Huffington and Defendant Huffington Post)
Description

On October 3, 2008, Nomvuyo Mzamane, the former headmistress of Oprah Winfrey's South African Leadership Academy for Girls, filed a defamation lawsuit in Pennsylvania state court against online news site and group blog The Huffington Post, its owner Ariana Huffington, and blogger and publicity expert Joan Stewart.  She also filed a separate lawsuit against Oprah Winfrey.

On November 7, 2007, Stewart published a blog post on The Publicity Hound's Blog, in which she commented on Winfrey's efforts to manage the public relations fallout from a sexual abuse scandal at the Academy.  In the post, Stewart falsely stated that Mzamane had been charged with a crime in connection with the scandal.  On November 19, 2007, Stewart republished the statement in a posting on The Huffington Post.  In her lawsuit, Mzamane claimed that this statement was defamatory.  

According to the Media Bloggers Association's Legal Blog, the parties settled in December 2008.  The Huffington Post and Stewart both agreed to post apologies alongside the original posts (here, here), but they did not make any payments or provide any other consideration. 

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Pennsylvania

Source of Law: 

  • Pennsylvania

Court Name: 

Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

080905308