An author who was insulted that comedian Jerry Seinfeld called her a “nutjob” and a “wacko” on The Late Show with David Letterman decided that she would get her due by filing a defamation lawsuit against the former television star. However, it looks like the writer Missy Chase Lapine isn’t walking away from this case with the judgement that she had hoped for.
According to CNN News, a New York judge dismissed the slander lawsuit against Seinfeld last week. Judge Marcy Friedman found that Seinfeld’s comments on The Late Show were not defamatory as a matter of the law, as the comments made were an opinion and thus not considered slander.
"Today's decision is a complete victory for Jerry -- and also a victory for the First Amendment and the right of comedians to tell jokes," Orgin Snyder, Seinfeld's attorney, said in a statement after the judge's ruling.
Jerry Seinfeld reportedly made the disparaging remarks of Lapine because the author had previously tried to sue his wife, Jessica Seinfeld, in 2007 for copyright infringement. With the comments, Jerry defended his wife, saying that she independently created her bestselling book "Deceptively Delicious."
This case brings up the necessary elements for winning a defamation case. FindLaw states that a statement must be published, false, unprivileged, and the cause of injury in order to be considered defamatory under the law. The freedom of speech typically comes up in defamation cases, as a person should be free to talk about their experiences in a truthful manner without fear of a lawsuit. Yet people also have the right not to have false statements made about them that are damaging to their reputation.