Howard K. Stern on Larry King Live in 2007

A judge has ruled against Howard K Stern, Anna Nicole Smith’s former boyfriend, who claimed that being called gay is defamatory.

The New York judge also ruled that, as a result, he was not entitled to claim damages on this basis.

The decision has been seen as a groundbreaking one. “Today, the court made clear that defamation law cannot rely on prejudices about what it means to be gay in America,” said Thomas W. Ude, Jr. Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal which opposed Stern’s claim.

Stern had filed a suit against author Rita Cosby who wrote in a biography of the late model that he had a sexual relationship with Larry Birkhead, another of Smith’s lovers.

Cosby claimed that Smith had walked in on the two men having oral sex; something which both Stern and Birkhead have denied. She also said that Smith regularly watched a video tape of the men having sex.

“I respectfully disagree that the existence of this continued prejudice leads to the conclusion that there is a widespread view of gays and lesbians as contemptible and disgraceful,” said judge Danny Chin.

He, however, allowed the lawsuit to go ahead on claims of 11 other libellous statements in the book.

Stern and Birkhead battled over custody of Smith’s baby daughter after the model died from an overdose in 2007. Birkhead was later shown to be the girl’s father in a paternity test.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend