A Mississippi professor is suing the liberal Huffington Post website for defamation, claiming that the news site smeared him in a September 2018 report about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s days at Georgetown Prep school, the Clarion Ledger reported.
Derrick Evans,’ who went to Georgetown Prep with Brett Kavanaugh, filed his lawsuit against Huffpo and former writer Ashley Feinberg on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Gulfport. Feinberg now writes for Slate.
The lawsuit said HuffPost and Feinberg repeatedly defamed Evans and 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 at Georgetown Prep that resulted in the April 1984 death of David Kennedy, Douglas’ brother and the son of the late U.S. attorney general and senator, Robert F. Kennedy.
The title of the story was “Kavanaugh’s Prep School Party Scene Was a ‘Free-For-All’.”
“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,” the lawsuit said. Evans is seeking an undisclosed amount of punitive damages.
A HuffPost spokesperson told the Ledger in a statement that it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
The story was published in September of 2018, during the height of the hysteria surrounding Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.
Feinberg’s article, according to the lawsuit was sensational, depicting a wild “alcohol-and-drug-fueled” culture at Georgetown Prep in the early 1980s.
The lawsuit said in HuffPost’s zeal to create a sensational article about Kavanaugh’s years at Georgetown Prep and thereby drive traffic to its website, it fabricated the claim that Kennedy and Evans “helped score” the illegal narcotics that killed Douglas Kennedy’s older brother, David, in April 1984.
“Defendants had no sources to support their outrageously false and defamatory statements about Derrick Evans and Douglas Kennedy. Nor did Defendants make any effort whatsoever to contact Mr. Evans for comment before accusing him of not only of committing a crime, but of being responsible for the death of David Kennedy,” the lawsuit alleges. “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.”
According to the lawsuit, HuffPost issued a correction, but the correction was also incorrect. The website eventually changed the story to remove all references to Evans and the Kennedy brothers.
“Defendants’ statements were false, malicious and fabricated, and were published with a knowing, intentional, subjective awareness of, and/or reckless disregard of, their falsity,” Evans’ attorney, John Sneed, said. “Plaintiff has suffered damages as a result of the Defendants’ statements, including emotional distress and harm to his reputation.”
Evans, who is African American, obtained a full academic scholarship to Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Maryland, in 1982. He was one of the only black students at Georgetown Prep at the time.
After earning bachelors and masters degrees from Boston College, Evans became a history professor and lecturer on American social history and the civil rights movement. In 1992, he was awarded Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges’ Certificate of Distinction in Teaching.
In 2005, in the direct wake of Hurricane Katrina, Evans co-founded the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health, which has directed over $5 million in critical funding to groups in coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida, according to his lawsuit.
Good on Evans for taking HuffPost to court. The Democrat media complex will only stop peddling fake news to smear conservatives when it becomes too much of a risk to do so.