Delores Tucker, who almost single handedly helped Death
Row lose their distribution deal with Time-Warner, lost
her attempt to sue Time Magazine and Newsweek, claiming
that they had mischaracterized her dispute with the estate
of the late Tupac Shakur.
The Supreme Court’s 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
threw out 74 year old Tucker and her husband’s lawsuit,
in which they were seeking $10 million from the Shakur’s
estate for “loss of consortium” and other claims because
of references to her in songs on Shakur’s 1996 album “All
Eyez on Me.”
to the Newsweek and Time articles, the couple claimed
that Tupac’s lyrics caused her so much distress that her
and her husband were unable to have sex. According to
Tucker, the lawsuit was not about sex and she had revised
her suit and sued multiple media outlets, reporters and
the attorney for the estate for Tupac Shakur for remarks
he made on the subject.
ruled that since the Gangsta Rap basher was a public figure,
she had to prove that Time and Newsweek reporters wrote
their stories with actual malice. The Court ruled that
there was no such proof.
The 3rd U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals said the anti-rap crusader was
a public figure and had to prove that Time and Newsweek
reporters wrote the stories with actual malice. The court
said there was no proof to support that.
sex, sleaze and celebrities sell, one cannot deliberately
change facts and call fiction `news’ and not permit a
jury to find malice,” they said in their appeal.
over the lyrics was also dismissed. Her case against Shakur’s
estate attorney Richard Fischbein is still pending. The
3rd Circuit said there was evidence that Fischbein acted
with malice by encouraging stories on the sex angle, even
after the lawsuit was revised. "No participant in
public debate should be put to a defamation trial for
his mere failure to discern the actual alleged intended
meaning of an (at best) ambiguously drafted pleading,”