They filed their response, they had 60 days to do it. Davis Wright Tremaine, attorneys for Larry King (and CNN and TBS and Time Warner, and L.A. Times, and N.Y. Times and on and on) can supply their response, I don’t have the character recognition software to do it. Besides, as my father used to say “they can plead their own cause”.
Then I had 5 days to respond to their response, here it is:
MY RESPONSE TO THEIR RESPONSE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Case no. CV-04-03632 WMB-FMO
LAWRENCE HARVEY ZEIGER aka LARRY KING; CABLE NEWS NETWORK, LP, LLLP.; TURNER BROADCASTING SYSTEM, INC.;
Does 1 thru 10 INCLUSIVE
PLAINTIFF’S VERIFIED RESPONSE TO DEFENDANTS’ SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE PLAINTIFF’S SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT AND THEIR ALTERNATIVE MOTION TO DISMISS AND THEIR CLAIM FOR FEES; SUPPORTING MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES;
Date: December 27, 2004
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Judge: The Hon. William Matthew Byrne Jr.
COMES NOW Plaintiff, John Clark, appearing pro se and sui juris, to give his response to Defendants’ Special Motion to Strike Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint and their alternative Motion to Dismiss and their claim for fees, notice of which was served upon Plaintiff on December 6, 2004, in which they hope to accomplish this before there is a hearing on the matter.
Plaintiff’s Response is made by Declaration, and is verified as to its truth.
Defendants’ answer to my Complaint was served upon me on December 6, 2004. Mr. Wickers, Defendants’ attorney, personally informed me that I had 7 days to respond to it, and that there would be a hearing on December 27, 2 days after Christmas Day. He told me that this was pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.
Their response includes 71 cited cases, and 12 cited Codes.
It has all the earmarks of boilerplate; perhaps Defendants are used to Complaints for Defamation. Unfortunately, I do not have boilerplate responses. And certainly 7 days is insufficient time to make a properly prepared response, and I consider this advice from opposing attorney to be a form of intimidation.
Their numerous codes and cases are like bumps in the road to justice. And I feel that they see me as just another case of road-kill.
However, as a professional director and actor, I am used to working within set boundaries, and what follows is my response to their response, all I am capable of mustering within the time limitation. My response may lack enough references to codes and cases. It will, however, have the benefit of a plain language common-sense approach to the law.
First, BE IT NOTED THAT in Defendants’ Certification of Interested Parties, filed concurrently with their Answer on December 6, 2004, the company name TIME WARNER is listed. Time Warner, according to the listing in HOOVER’S, is a conglomerate and the parent company of Defendants Cable News Network LP LLLP, and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. I obtained this information at the website of Hoover’s (www.hoovers.com) to which I subscribe. Time Warner it would appear is one of Does 1-10 described in the Complaint.
POINTS AND AUTHORITIES
As Plaintiff, I reject Defendants’ arguments to my complaint on the basis that they seem to be attempting an end-run around their problem by making a preemptive bid for my Complaint to be struck, using the provisions of the California Anti-SLAPP statute California Code of Civil Procedure § 425.16.
The statute concerns itself with filings considered to be frivolous, and is designed to discourage such filings by penalizing the complainant with all the costs and attorney fees associated with the Complaint.
I here give my own argument why this Complaint should not be struck under those provisions. I will show that there is nothing frivolous going on here.
Larry King, in his program on CNN “Larry King Live”, gratuitously misrepresented me, who I am, my effects upon the guest and her breast cancer, and made me appear to be a bad person, an object of contempt. Mr. Justice Harlan, in a 1974 case before the Supreme Court [Gertz v. Welch 418 U.S. 323, 94 S.Ct. 2997] famously said “Indeed, the law of defamation is rooted in our experience that the truth rarely catches up with a lie.” I have spent the last few years of my life trying to reverse this lie with the truth, at the same time attempting to protect my family from unwarranted intrusion into their private life. I only wish my lost family well.
Lynn Redgrave has waged a continuing campaign to destroy me and eradicate me from her life since the time of our separation, for reasons which to me are only now becoming apparent. She uses all means at her disposal, which includes the harnessing of the energies of celebrity fawning producers and interviewers such as CNN and Larry King that have standing in the eyes of the public. And what is worse, in this process she has kept my children from me. Whether a respectable news outfit like CNN should be allowed to even suggest that she should be supported in that endeavor, given the truth which they must know from public documents, paints the very opposite picture, and that is what this case is all about.
JOURNAL, A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER’S RECOVERY FROM BREAST CANCER
This is the title of her book, which I referred to in my complaint at page 7, line 26, but which had not then yet appeared. My contention that a book was in the works and was being actively promoted, could have been dismissed as mere speculation. However, on or about October 18, 2004, both my ex-wife and daughter Annabel appeared at a book-signing at Barnes and Noble, The Grove, Los Angeles, to promote and sell their book (I did not attend). Pictures taken on this occasion can be found on Lynn Redgrave’s website (www.redgrave.com) under the heading “New Pictures”. A signed copy of this book is being provided with this response as Exhibit A.
The lengths to which she and my daughter have gone to disown me are extraordinary. For example, at page 72 in the book, I learn for the first time that my daughter Kelly gave birth to a son on April 29, 2003, making me a grandfather for the sixth time.
My name is nowhere mentioned throughout the book. I do not exist. She talks incessantly about “My Annabel”, and “My children” (e.g. page 22) and worst of all, on the acknowledgments page, page 111, all our children are mentioned, and her longtime lover Brandon Maggart is mentioned, but I am left out.
And at her website, Redgrave.com, which as her manager I created for her, I and my name have been carefully removed.
The madness of her acts have caused a loss in monetary value to our family estate, our family life savings, I estimate, of 6 million dollars. She caused my eviction from our home, and used her lover and his family to do this.
CNN and Larry King enjoy a reputation for reporting the news as it is, and maintain a Standards and Practices department to ensure that the public can rely on its facts as true. CNN is not and does not pretend to be a gossip channel. Hoover’s analysis of this company is thus: “A unit of Turner Broadcasting, CNN News Group operates 38 news bureaus worldwide (11 in the US) and employs some 4,000 news staff (including talk show host Larry King and network news crossover Paula Zahn). In addition to its all-news channels, CNN Headline News and CNN International, the company operates financial channel CNNfn. CNN News Group also operates a number of Internet sites.”
I have included as Exhibit B a picture which I took of a billboard overlooking La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, at its busiest. “All the News You Can Trust”, it blares. And people believe it.
At page 44, line 16 of my Complaint, I refer to a letter I wrote to the Immigration and Naturalization Service exposing the fraud perpetrated upon that department by my wife, my son Benjamin, and his “wife” Nicolette Hannah when they jointly went to the department on June 6, 1995 to set in progress application for a green card. This letter is dated March 12, 2001, and goes into considerable detail concerning my wife and son’s involvement in the illegal matters concerning our family. This letter was filed with the Los Angeles Family Court in the 2 cases where I was defending myself, and thus became a public document. I now include it here, as Exhibit C, in order to show the huge division between what really happened, and what the news media wants to present and infer happened.
PLAINTIFF DID NOT SERVE A RETRACTION DEMAND
Defendants, in their responsive pleading, appear to believe that Plaintiff wished to serve a retraction demand on CNN. (See their Page 17, line 3). They completely miss the point.
What Lynn Redgrave and Larry King and CNN and TBS possessed was a bomb aimed at me, a bomb that was planted at the taping on April 21, 2003 (see Redgrave journal entry on page 70 of her book, Exhibit A) and exploded over four weeks later, on the occasion of the broadcast on May 22, 2003. Plaintiff had no desire to participate in the actual broadcast, but as his e-mails clearly point out (Complaint pages 10-13), he would have, given the opportunity, removed the bomb at its source. The opportunity was denied him for the four weeks prior to the broadcast by keeping him ignorant. Four weeks was ample time for CNN to have contacted Plaintiff for comment. But I believe they bore evil intent towards me, and concealment of their plan became paramount for the accomplishment of their goal.
It is my belief that CNN was aware of these matters, and of the ongoing legal procedures still before the courts, and chose to suppress that knowledge. If I am right, and only a Trial and Discovery will reveal this to be true, this will be a classic case of scienter.
Defendants, in their response, do not deal with the fact that Plaintiff makes a showing of Scienter in his Complaint, although he does not use that word which is a legal word. There is nothing in the Rules or the Law which state that only legal words should be used. Complainant is a Pro Se. The circumstances recounted in the Complaint certainly support that allegation.
The new evidence of the published book further confirms that allegation.
It is inconceivable, given the presence of publicly available court documents and given the massive planning, staging and manipulation of the graphics associated with the broadcast, that Defendants lacked scienter.
CALIFORNIA’S ANTI-SLAPP STATUTE
Defendants appear to believe that their First Amendment rights are unlimited, and claim that the Code of Civil Procedure §425.16 protects them from any attack, no matter where it comes from. It is instructive that this statute, in its first paragraph (a), states . . “The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest to encourage continued participation in matters of public significance, and that this participation should not be chilled through abuse of the judicial process.” In this case, they themselves have “chilled the judicial process” in my still ongoing cases as I show throughout my Complaint! That is a bizarre result indeed.
And under (b)1, the statute speaks of the free speech right as connected to “a public issue”. Well, my court cases defending myself from the onslaughts of my wife and one Nicolette Hannah are the public issue, and should have been aired properly, or not referred to at all, for they were not part of the theme of the interview, the public issue there being breast cancer.
I already stated in my Complaint that I have no problem with the theme of Breast Cancer (Complaint page 13, line 9). That certainly is a public issue. But the graphic portrayal of me, Nicolette, and our son Zachary was not part of that public issue. It was strictly a gratuitous “add-on”, included for the purpose of inflaming public opinion by targeting me, and a desire to attract viewers and ratings.
The damage to me was considerable. Included here as Exhibit D is the front page of my Priority Mail envelope to my old friend Army Archerd, perhaps the most important of all of the media columnists here in Hollywood, who writes a column for Daily Variety. I tried to send him a copy of my complaint, as I did to many media outlets throughout the country. There was no indication as to its contents, but it had my name on it, and the envelope was refused and returned to me.
Time-Warner’s claim to unfettered free speech rights was reversed in the case of M. G. v. Time Warner, Inc. 89 Cal. App. 4th 623 (2001), a published case. In his opinion, Justice Gaut J, writing for the majority, stated “…powerful corporate defendants are employing the anti-SLAPP statute against individuals of lesser strength and means, we are constrained by the authorities to permit its use against plaintiffs of this ilk ” (referring to Time-Warner).
I believe I can show a pattern of this type of behavior on the part of Larry King and CNN, which can lead to a claim for damages.
On April 27, 2004 there was a broadcast interview on Larry King Live between Larry King and actress Alison Arngrim, transcribed at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/lkl.html. In the small world of Hollywood entertainment, it happens that I know Alison, and I knew her parents very well when we both lived in Canada, and I happened to watch the show. The broadcast consisted of her revelation that a close friend of her family had sexually abused her for a number of years from the time she was six years old. She refused, when asked, to divulge the name of the man.
It so happens, quite by chance, that I also know the man she was referring to, although I have not seen him for many years. There must be many in his circle of friends who will have watched the show and will be able to identify him, and he will be a marked man, and perhaps won’t even know why. But I was shocked and appalled that this kind of reporting should be allowed. But one supposes it is O.K. in the attack free universe of CNN, TBS, and the perceived protection of California’s Anti-SLAPP legislation combined with their claimed First Amendment rights of free speech. Interestingly, Mr. King, in his closing remark, states that they had contacted the guest’s father, who said he supported her in her endeavor. Indeed, they are capable of seeking feed-back from a guest’s family.
Defendants are part of a huge conglomerate, which may be reasonably supposed to wield huge power in the entertainment business. As described at the Hoover’s website (hoovers.com), Time Warner is the world’s number one media firm. They own and control the following companies, partnerships, and programs:
The companies shown to be part of their family are, inter alia:
America On-line, Time Warner Cable, Netscape, Compuserve, Warner Brothers Network, Warner Brothers Entertainment, New Line Cinema, DC Comics, Castle Rock Entertainment, Warner Independent Pictures.
Its Publishing empire includes Time Magazine, Time Warner Book Group, and IPC in the United Kingdom. IPC is described as being the Ruler among Britain’s magazine publishing royalty, now with a big presence in Australia too.
Further, they have interests in Court TV and Amazon.com.
They are information and entertainment providers of CNN, TBS, HBO, and Comedy Central.
One television show they own through the Warner subsidiary, is Celebrity Justice, an important fact, for Plaintiff appeared recently on their show at their contact and invitation, hoping for the truth to come out, and instead, that truth was again subverted.
Foreign publishers have taken up with hostile and inflammatory voices against me. I enclose a clip from the British newspaper Mail on Sunday as Exhibit E. Their tone is obvious, and I have initiated a complaint before the British Press Complaints Commission.
In a feeble attempt to voice my protest in this sea of hostile media, as a last-ditch defense of my name and reputation, and as an effort to aid other people in this country attempting to conduct their own cases Pro Per or Pro Se as the case may be, (and as encouraged by the Courts with their numerous self-help web-sites for the uninitiated), I have created a blogsite which will appear for the first time this week (www.johnclarkprose.com). I will certainly be exercising my free speech 1st Amendment rights in a proper manner.
This Plaintiff believes that the public good will be best served by this case being permitted to proceed to trial before a jury.
If huge media entities like Time Warner and its subsidiaries are allowed to proceed untrammeled in the manner described above, we may yet see them parading down the center aisle of a theatre, waving their advertising banner, and yelling “FIRE! FIRE!” to attract attention.
This Plaintiff appeals to this court to allow this case to be heard and therefore for the issues to be aired and tried.
I believe that this is a landmark case, perfectly fitted for the new and dangerous times in which we live.
And I believe I will prevail, for a jury of my peers will understand what is at stake for the good of the general public.
I declare under penalty of perjury according to the laws of the State of California and the United States, that the foregoing is true and correct except to those facts which I believe to be true to the best of my information and belief, and would so swear to in court.
Executed at Los Angeles, California.
Dated: December 13th, 2004
John Clark, Plaintiff, pro