Don Imus violated the Rutgers womens basketball teams’ ‘civil rights’

… so sayeth a lawsuit filed by the lawyer of one of the ‘defamed’ players:

Don Imus is facing his first lawsuit from a player on the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team for derogatory comments that cost him his job as a radio host in April, ABC News has learned.

Kia Vaughn, star center for the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team, has filed a lawsuit against Imus for libel, slander, and defamation — the first civil suit to be filed against the former radio host. Vaughn is asking for monetary damages of an unspecified amount.

“This is a lawsuit in order to restore the good name and reputation of my client, Kia Vaughn,” said her attorney, Richard Ancowitz, in an exclusive interview with the ABC News Law & Justice Unit.

“Restore”? I didn’t know it was taken away.

Today’s suit refers to terms used by Imus on April 4 — including referring to women on the team as “nappy headed” — as “debasing, demeaning, humiliating, and denigrating” to Vaughn and her fellow players.

“There’s no way these bigoted remarks should have seen the light of day,” Ancowitz told ABC News.

“Don Imus referred to my client as an unchaste woman. That was and is a lie.”

Of the networks that aired “Imus in the Morning” the lawsuit alleges that they “wrongfully, intentionally, willfully … created, tolerated, and maintained an atmosphere in which the making of outrageous statements and comments was acceptable, encouraged, and/or rewarded for many years prior to this occurrence and/or overtly encouraged the statements made.”

The lawsuit alleges that use of the slanderous terms was intentional and motivated by greed and financial gain: in using insults against otherwise innocent people Imus would get higher ratings, making more money for him and his employers. Among other infractions, the suit alleges that Imus violated the players’ civil rights.

Would the timing of today’s lawsuit happen to coincide with today’s news of the settlement CBS has just reached with Imus? Of course not:

Ancowitz says the timing of today’s lawsuit has nothing to do with Imus’ possible return to the airwaves. Vaughn herself was not available for comment. The 20-year-old, 6’4″ New York native is in the midst of exams before starting her junior year at Rutgers University this fall.

Vaughn’s lawyer says that some of the money from any damages awarded in the lawsuit would be used to create a scholarship program to study the effects of bigoted and misogynistic speech on society.

Does that mean the scholarship program would focus primarily on the damaging effects of rap music, the primary purveyor of bigoted and misogynistic “speech” in the US? I wouldn’t bet on it. That rappers, under the banner of “artistic expression,” insult and demean white people (in particular authority figures) and black women like Vaughn every single day in far harsher language than Imus would ever have been allowed to get away with at CBS, completely escapes her, apparently. Hey, I’m glad when a woman feels offended over being called a “ho” but, uh, hello? Rap music – decades – insults against women? Anyone listening?

Presumably the rest of the money would be used in an “I’m not a ho” PR campaign launched by Vaughn nationwide complete with fliers, a website, and a tour, as if her reputation has been torn to shreds after Imus comments, comments for which he was widely condemned, rebuked, and fired over – comments stoked by one of the biggest racists this nation has ever seen: Rev. Al Sharpton.

In any event, it sounds like Vaughn’s been listening to the advice of coach Vivian Stringer’s pastor’s advice, given back on April 13:

While team members respected Imus’ willingness to apologize, they wanted him to understand how they were hurt, said Rev. DeForest Soaries, Stringer’s pastor, who joined the meeting. Imus tried to explain what he meant, “but there was really no explanation that they could understand,” Soaries said on NBC’s “Today” show.

“An apology is appropriate for an insult,” he said. “But restitution is necessary for an injury.”

An insult can be equated to an “injury”? What a crock. The victimhood “You owe me!” attitude strikes again.


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