Alabama Basketball Player’s Defamation Lawsuit Against New York Times Moves Forward

The court has approved Spears’ libel lawsuit. The decision follows an incident on University Boulevard in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, after an Alabama basketball game. The controversy arose from an article published in The New York Times, which suggested that Spears was associated with a shooting. The court determined that the article could be interpreted as implying that Spears was complicit in the shooting and therefore, was defamatory. However, the court rejected Spears’ false light invasion of privacy claim. The court noted the possibility of addressing the issue of actual malice later in the lawsuit proceedings. The decision allows Spears’ libel claim to move forward, granting damages without the need to prove specific damages.