Huffington Post and Former Reporter Sued for Defamation Over Kavanaugh Article
The Huffington Post and their former reporter Ashley Feinberg are being sued for defamation by a man that they claimed was responsible for the death of Robert F. Kennedy’s son David in an article about Brett Kavanaugh.
In an article headlined “Former Student: Brett Kavanaugh’s Prep School Party Scene Was A ‘Free-For-All,” Feinberg, who now writes for Slate, wrote of David Kennedy’s overdose death that “two students — David’s brother Doug, and his friend Derrick Evans — had helped score the coke.” The article has now been scrubbed of that part of the story.
On Wednesday, Evans, who is now a teacher, filed a lawsuit stating that “HuffPost and Feinberg repeatedly defamed Mr. Evans and his friend Douglas Kennedy to a nationwide audience on multiple occasions in September 2018 by falsely asserting that they helped arrange the purchase and delivery of cocaine that resulted in the April 1984 death of David Kennedy, Douglas’s brother and the son of the late U.S. Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. These statements were not only false and defamatory, but outrageously so, and were published by Defendants with knowledge of their actual falsity or in reckless disregard of the truth for the apparent purpose of creating a salacious story designed to drive internet traffic to HuffPost’s website.”
“In HuffPost’s zeal to create a sensational article about Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s years at Georgetown Preparatory School (‘Georgetown Prep’) and thereby drive traffic to its website, it fabricated the false claim that Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Evans, who, like Kavanaugh, are also alumni of Georgetown Prep, ‘helped score’ the illegal narcotics that killed Douglas Kennedy’s older brother David in April 1984,” the lawsuit continues.
In reality, Evans had helped the prosecution identify the people who actually sold Kennedy the drugs.
“Indeed, if Ms. Feinberg or her HuffPost editors had done even the most basic research of publicly available sources, she and they would have known, if they did not already know, that Mr. Evans actively assisted law enforcement in identifying and prosecuting the individuals who actually sold the illegal narcotics,” the lawsuit states.
According to a report from the Free Beacon, the article was first updated with a correction that read, “This article previously stated incorrectly that Doug Kennedy was involved in helping his brother to purchase drugs in 1984. Kennedy was only sharing a room with Derrick Evans, who helped David purchase the drugs, according to an affidavit obtained by the New York Times. We regret the error.” But, Evans says that the correction was also defamatory.
“The September 21 correction was another complete fabrication published by HuffPost with actual knowledge that both it and the original publication were false or in reckless disregard of the truth, again without ever attempting to contact Mr. Evans for comment,” the lawsuit reads. “As HuffPost knew, there was NO affidavit reflecting that Mr. Evans ever helped anyone purchase illegal drugs. Defendants had no such affidavit in their possession, and they could not have had such an affidavit in their possession.”
The current correction on the article says that “this article previously mischaracterized the involvement of individuals in a drug purchase. References to those individuals and the incident have been removed. We regret the error. Additionally, certain references by the former student to specific individuals have been removed to better reflect the intended purpose of the article: to provide a former student’s general characterizations of the party culture.”