TMZ.com Sued By Anna Nicole Smith’s MomBy: Mike Sachoff - April 24, 2008
Anna Nicole Smith’s mother Virgie Arthur is suing online celebrity news site TMZ.com along with a number of other media outlets alleging she was defamed.
Arthur alleges in a lawsuit filed in Texas state court on Monday that Smith’s lawyer and companion Howard K. Stern and others created a fictitious story that she was the mother of her stepbrother’s child to try and hurt her chances of getting custody of granddaughter Dannielynn.
“Their goal was simple and straightforward — to ‘destroy’ anyone that was opposed to Howard K. Stern or his interest," the lawsuit said.
Defendants named in the lawsuit include TMZ managing editor, Harvey Levin, Smith’s companion, Howard K. Stern and his sister Bonnie Stern, and television journalist Art Harris, who runs The Bald Truth Blog and three Texas bloggers.
The lawsuit stems from a story titled “Virgie Has Son with Her Stepbrother” that was published last April on TMZ.com.
TMZ has not commented on the lawsuit. Lyndal Harrington one of the bloggers named in the suit said, “I’ve expressed how hard it has been for me to find an attorney to stand up for my First Amendment rights,” according to the Houston Chronicle. "This is to intimidate us to stop writing."