A United States Court of Appeals has decided to uphold the 2007 dismissal of a $55 million defamation lawsuit filed by New York radio personality Troi Star Torain, against a New York City Councilman, AllHipHop.com has learned.
The ruling is the latest chapter in a long running dispute between the Hip-Hop shock jock and Council member John Liu, which came to a head during the summer of 2006.
“The good news is that no more tax-payers’ monies will be wasted by Torain’s frivolous lawsuit, Liu told AllHipHop.com in a statement following todays ruling. The bad news for me, personally, is that I won’t have a chance to take a stand and talk about my disgust and pity for this racist pedophile radio stooge. What made Torain’s case so ironic was that he complained about my choice of words while thousands of people have been complaining about his words over many years on our public airwaves.
Originally filed in August of 2006 in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Stars lawsuit called into question comments made by Liu, following a controversial broadcast that ultimately led to the Star & Bucwild Morning Show hosts dismissal from Power 105 (WWPR-FM).
During what Stars lawyers referred to as a war of words between Star and former co-workers at rival station Hot 97 (WQHT-FM), the often embattled on-air personality issued a series of shocking statements aimed at the family of DJ Envy.
In addition to using racial and sexist slurs towards Envys wife and threatening to rape the couples then four-year-old daughter, Star went so far as to offer listeners of his popular syndicated show a $500 reward for information about the girls school.
The public outcry led to a police investigation and Stars dismissal from Power 105, as well as charges of aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child, which were later dropped.
Shortly following the DJs May 10, 2006 firing, Councilman Liu expressed his outrage at the statement, calling Star a loser pedophile.
Liu further sought a $5,000,000 fine against Power 105s parent company Clear Channel Communications, for allowing the broadcast of a pedophiles fantasy.
Stars lawyers charged in court documents that Lius comments were false and defamatory and that they had been made with actual malice and for the sole purpose of the Council members self-promotion.
However, a little over a year after the action was filed, Manhattan Federal Judge George Daniels ruled the lawsuit had no merit, as Lius comments were statements of opinion made in direct response to what he considered to be outrageous and offensive on-air comments.
I am grateful and appreciative for the vigorous efforts of the City Councils General Counsel office and the New York City Law Department, Liu added. Their vigorous defense against this lawsuit had little to do with me and everything to do with the ability and indeed, responsibility of elected officials to respond to threats against children and the public at large.
Liu maintains his conviction the Clear Channel be held accountable, as the company sought Star out to push the envelope to pump up profits following several similar controversial on-air statements.