Lara Logan, ex-‘60 Minutes’ Correspondent, Launches $25M Defamation Suit Against Media

Former “60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan is suing New York Media and writer Joe Hagen over a piece published five years ago titled “Benghazi and the Bombshell.” She is seeking $25 million in damages.

Fox News Reports, the defamation suit, filed Thursday, reveals that Logan believes her career at CBS News was impacted by the 2014 New York Magazine piece by Joe Hagan called “Benghazi and the Bombshell.” The piece reviewed one of Logan’s “60 Minutes” stories broadcast on October 27, 2013, focusing on the Benghazi attack in 2012, which killed US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The story by Logan was ultimately retracted when “it was revealed one of her on-the-record sources a British security contract named Dylan Davies, had lied in his interview about his actions that night.”

According to the New York Post, she says the release of the “hit piece” seven months after her story was retracted “entirely and completely derailed” the plan for her to continue working at “60 Minutes.” The suit says her pay was cut following the publication of Hagen’s piece and contained defamatory statements that hurt her reputation and led to a diminished role at CBS.

Logan’s suit points out that she was not the only person lied to by the source. Simon & Schuster – which, like “60 Minutes,” is owned by CBS – was forced to recall Davies’ book “The Embassy House” when it turned out his account of that night was discredited.

The suit says the headline’s reference to the word “bombshell” was both “sexist,  insulting and defamatory at the same time.” Saying it “intended to portray Logan as a dangerous and untouchable and incendiary reporter.”

Hagan wrote at the time that “Logan’s star power blinded her superiors to her flaws” and that she was placed on “60 Minutes” by CBS’ then-boss, Les Moonves, who resigned in 2018 amid sexual harassment allegations.

Logan said she apologized for her “mistake” regarding Davies on “CBS This Morning” in November 2013, but that key parts of the story held up. She claims the decision by “60 Minutes” to pull the story “was motivated by politics.”

Despite the fallout from the retracted story, Logan says she was slowly making her way back into the good graces of “60 Minutes” — until Hagan’s article hit in May 2014.

“The plan for Logan’s return to ‘60 Minutes’ was entirely and completely derailed after publication of the Hagan Hit Piece,” the suit claims. Among the false statements, she says, was a gang rape she suffered in Egypt while on assignment, which Hagan characterized as a “groping.”

The lawsuit also claims that Logan’s salary was cut as a direct result of the article amid the fallout from the Benghazi controversy.  Under a new contract she signed in August 2015, she was paid only $750,000 to produce up to six original segments as a part-time correspondent in a deal that was to last three years.

“But for the Hagan Hit Piece, Logan would have earned more than $2,150,000 per year as a ’60 Minutes’ correspondent,” the suit claims. “She was young and extremely talented. She expected to work for CBS indefinitely.”

Hagan, who is now a special correspondent with Vanity Fair, did not return calls, but New York Media said it is standing by the story.

The New York Magazine article was thoroughly vetted and fact-checked, and we stand by our reporting,” said a New York Media spokeswoman.

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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