Former star linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons, Keith Brooking, is being used by Wells Fargo for $2 million, even as Brooking's rep say that the allegation is not true, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Brooking's wife, Holly, is also being named by Wells Fargo.
In the Keith Brookings suit by Wells Fargo, the bank is arguing that Brookings shifted and transferred assets to try and avoid paying Wells Fargo. But as Brooking's representation Pat Dye Jr. said:
"There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support Wells Fargo's allegations that Keith transferred any properties to fraudulently conceal assets."
That defense makes this case very interesting, because it suggests that depending on who you believe, Wells Fargo might be spreading false claims about Keith Brooking.
And wherever false allegations about someone are made, you have to be aware of being slapped with a defamation suit.
Generally speaking, in order to win a defamation lawsuit, you must show that:
- Someone made a statement;
- that statement was published;
- the statement caused you injury;
- the statement was false; and
- the statement did not fall into a privileged category.
If Keith Brookings were to sue Wells Fargo for defamation, he would have to first get over the hurdle of whether or not a statement made in the course of a lawsuit constitutes “publishing.” Usually those statements are protected, and not allowed to be used as the basis for a defamation suit.
After that, he would have to deal with the fact that there is a higher burden for him because he is a public figure. People in the public eye get less protection from defamatory statements.
Having said that, making a defamation case might be part of Keith Brookings defense. And he is good at defense.