Local customs
Posted by aogSaturday, 18 August 2007 at 10:02 TrackBack Ping URL

Late to the party as always, but I wanted to comment on the recent issue with attempted censorship of people writing about jihad. The case in point concerns Rachel Ehrenfeld who was sued for libel in Britian over her book Funding Evil. Because truth is not an affirmative defense to libel libel defense is much riskier and costly in the UK, she declined to defend herself and lost the suit. She was then ordered to pay $225K and cease publication. Ehrenfeld, however, is an American citizen and basically told the UK to sod off by counter-suing in New York State. that court ruled that the UK decision could not be enforced in the USA as it was contrary to American law.

I think, for once, both cases were decided correctly. It is of course the privilege of the UK to decide what can and cannot be published in the UK. Similarly, the USA can make the same decision within its own borders. My originally cited article on this complains that

Now she cannot travel to Britain, and her writing and research work has of course been banned there — thus preventing important information from reaching the public [in the UK].

Yes, but that’s properly the decision of the UK, not the USA. The British court has had no effect on this information reaching people in America, so I find this “libel tourism” less worrisome in general (I would be much more worried if I were British and subject to it, of course, especially with the recent pulping of a similar book by Cambidge University).

Comments — Formatting by Textile
tom c., stamford,ct Saturday, 18 August 2007 at 11:08

Question: How can truth not be an ‘affirmative’ defense against libel? I’m not really up on the fine points of British libel law and I’m quite curious about things that don’t seem to make sense on their face. What is a defense against libel in Great Britain? Thanks.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 18 August 2007 at 16:32

My understanding is that the information wasn’t public and is damaging to the reputation of the person it is about, it’s libel regardless of the accuracy. Clearly it was put in to protect members of the government from accountability. I suspect that Founding Fathers had this in mind when they wrote the First Amendment.

This is also why Ehrenfeld was sued in the UK, rather than the USA, even though she’s an American citizen, lives in the USA, and published her book in the USA.

Peter Burnet Saturday, 18 August 2007 at 20:47

Something wrong there, AOG. Truth (or justification) is a defence to libel in the UK.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 18 August 2007 at 21:55

I’m not sure — it may be I remember what I have read of libel in the UK is wrong. Even your cite isn’t completely clear. At one point it states

The defence of justification, or truth, is a complete defence to a libel action. The onus is on the defendant to prove that the allegations are true.

On the other hand, we have

When an individual or company brings a libel or slander action, they must show:

  1. that the words are defamatory of them;
  2. that the words would be understood to refer to them by even one other person; and
  3. that the words have been published to a third party.

A libel claimant does not have to prove that the words are false or to prove that he has in fact suffered any loss. [emphasis added]

If that is, in fact, what a plaintiff has to prove, then I don’t see how truth is a defense.

Everyone I read notes specifically that the UK libel laws are much friendlier to plaintiffs than in the USA, but I don’t see how that can be if truth is an affirmative defense.

Peter Burnet Sunday, 19 August 2007 at 04:22

It’s a question of where the onus of proof lies. Once the plaintiff has proven those three items, it’s over to the defence to proof truth and if he does, that gets him off. Why should the plaintiff have to prove the words are false, which would get us into the whole proving a negative problem? After all, it was the defendant that started the whole thing with the defamatory words. Surely it should be up to him to justify them.

But even if the rules are more or less the same, I don’t doubt that the UK is still more libel friendly. There are a lot of subtleties built on the rules that can vary, especially when you get into areas such as motive and malice.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 19 August 2007 at 10:10

Could it be that in the USA, it’s an affirmative defense that one believed the statements to be true (or a reasonable person would have believed them to be true), where as in the UK the statements have to be proven true of themselves?

Peter Burnet Sunday, 19 August 2007 at 10:53

I hope not, but there is a difference between how the law treats public and private folks. With public folks like film stars and politicians, there is a defence of fair comment and you can often get away with calling them or their actions nebulous things like “sleazy” or “incompetent” provided there is no personal malice (which the plaintiff must prove), but you had better not try that with a private citizen. But even with public figures, if you call them something hard and specific like “a thief” or a “paedophile”, you had better be right.

BTW, it is amazing how much libel goes on in the blogosphere. I’m sure there will be a case someday. Several folks here have clearly libelled Orrin. OTOH, Orrin should keep a copyright lawyer on retainer.

tom c., stamford,ct Sunday, 19 August 2007 at 11:34

AOG- I believe that in the US one can say or print anything at all regarding a ‘public person’ excepting the truly malicious and unsupportable. Truth is generally determined in the marketplace of ideas rather than in court. Mistaken opinions reported as factual regarding public figures are not grounds for libel unless actual malice can be shown, i.e. reported as fact contrary to other, unreported, facts in the possession of, or what could easily be determined by, the defendant. Very hard to prove while the ‘public figure’ test is kind of subjective. All in all, keeping the 1st Amendment in mind, it makes more sense than the alternatives. I think that’s the gist of Brennan’s (?) opinion in Sullivan v NYT in the early 60’s.

Jeff Guinn Sunday, 19 August 2007 at 21:19

Several folks here have clearly libeled Orrin.

I don’t know about that — a for instance would be nice — but he clearly libeled me.

The whole shtick about you and your wife killing each other at the first hint of expense or inconvenience and your stated desire to murder your kids if they’d been problems in utero … Posted by: oj at January 1, 2005 09:22 AM

Emphasis added.

Read on if you want to see a classic case of libel.

erp Monday, 20 August 2007 at 11:39

Whoa? Jeff, that string is horrible. I never read the posts on religion or Darwin because I couldn’t care less about them. Until now I didn’t understand the acrimony of the PJA, but if this is an example of the “debate,” it’s not surprising.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 20 August 2007 at 12:29

erp;

For me, it’s much more about editing and deleting comments. If OJ is going to pick and chose my words, then they’re really his words, not mine and I don’t want my name attached to any one else’s opinions.

Mr. Burnet;

It slipped my mind until now, but one reason I thought that truth wasn’t a defense is that in this case, the author had very extensive documntary evidence for her claims, but the articles about the case indicated that she wasn’t going to prevail despite that. Any idea why this would be considered the conventional wisdom?

Peter Burnet Monday, 20 August 2007 at 14:01

AOG:

At this point it is hard to know without really looking at the evidence first hand and at how the judge analysed it. It is awfully hard to do so from secondary sources. It appears this judge has a reputation that preceeds him. Also, in this kind of a case, so much turns as much on the plaintiff actually knew about the people he was dealing with. The chain of connections in can be very shadowy and smbiguous. Don’t forget, the onus is on the defendant to prove justification and truth. “Pull the other one” works great in a bar, not so well in a courtroom.

Ever read Uris’s QB VII?

Peter Burnet Monday, 20 August 2007 at 14:23

erp:

Yes, the things that were said in those dust-ups were insulting and slanderous. It was awful. And the worst thing is that they just kept on being said over and over and over again. Apparently no one could avoid it.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 20 August 2007 at 15:33

We’re avoiding it now. Although I like to think that I didn’t play that game back then, either.

P.S. I haven’t read QB VII. I have never even heard of it.

Peter Burnet Monday, 20 August 2007 at 18:47

It’s the story of a European doctor or something like that who was mentioned in passing in a book about the Holocaust with a vague suggestion he was a collaborator. He sued for libel in the UK. I won’t tell you the rest, except that QB V11 stands for Queen’s Bench Seven—the name and number of the courtroom.

Tom C., Stamford,Ct Tuesday, 21 August 2007 at 20:52

jeff- That was some exchange. The boy blogger has a mean streak a mile wide.

Hey Skipper Saturday, 25 August 2007 at 02:20

And the worst thing is that they just kept on being said over and over and over again. Apparently no one could avoid it.

Huh?

As with AOG, I’d like to believe I didn’t play that game, ever.

Peter Burnet Saturday, 25 August 2007 at 05:21

Skipper:

Volenti non fit injuria

Your thread is from 2004. How many times did this happen to you?

Hey Skipper Saturday, 25 August 2007 at 16:56

Your thread is from 2004. How many times did this happen to you?

Three.

As for volenti, that does not apply. I did not volunteer to be the target of libel, did I?

Peter Burnet Sunday, 26 August 2007 at 08:11

A boxer doesn’t “volunteer” to be felled by a low punch followed by a left jab, either.

You want to be both aggrieved party and judge at the same time. Nice work, if you can get it.

Hey Skipper Sunday, 26 August 2007 at 18:08

Peter:

Bad analogy.

Good analogy: a boxer doesn’t enter the ring volunteering to be shot by a .357 magnum.

What’s worse your position is empty: you deprive me of the ability to judge for myself whether the utterance falls within the bounds of libel. Does that apply to assault, as well?

Presuming libel exists as a concept, then clearly there are those who have been libelled, regardless of whether I happen to fall in that class.

By your line of reasoning, no victim of libel may find themselves aggrieved, then attempt to establish they, in fact, belong to the class of the libelled.

So you be the judge: libel, or not. And if not, why not?

Peter Burnet Sunday, 26 August 2007 at 21:04

Assuming you could find a judge to see anything in that thread other than a verbal bar room brawl that lost all discursive coherence soon after it started, I see nothing in what Orrin said that libelled you. On the other hand, you defamed him by calling him a liar, so you could be called upon to substantiate that, which I doubt you could do on the basis of anything there. But I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Volenti applies to him too.

When you say something in debate, you are not entitled to insist your words are received and interpreted exacly as you say you meant them, and in the spirit in which you meant them. The listener if free to interpret as he wishes. If you say: “I support abortion” and I reply: “then you support child-murder”, I haven’t libelled you and you can’t claim I have by arguing that you have often denied that abortion is murder. If someone says “I had an abortion” and I say: “Then you have murdered a child”, I haven’t libelled her either and she can’t claim I did on the basis that she believes a foetus is not a child. Still less on the basis that she says she loves children. And if I say to her: “Then, life is obviously cheap to you.”, I have done nothing unlawful. Orrin seems to have brusquely invited (taunted?) you over and over to repudiate the factual assertion he was basing his attack on, which you pointedly declined to do. I suspect that would leave any court with the impression that scoring debating points was more important to you both than anything to do with your reputations or even objective truth. The fact that several times you threatened to comment no further, but did anyway, adds to that impression.

Libel is not a synonym for insult, nor even of insult rudely.

Then, of course, there is the fascinating question of whether a rip-roaring dust-up on a blog is the equivalent of a public debate and the defence of fair comment should be available. Your argument that some friends or family might peek in and be shocked and appalled strikes me as quite the stretch for one whose hobby is to pronounce on religion, ethics, morality, etc. to total strangers on the World Wide Web, and who often uses his friends and family to illustrate his arguments.

Therefore, I advise you not to sue. Stuff happens. You are welcome. For old times’ sake, I waive my normal fee.

Hey Skipper Sunday, 26 August 2007 at 21:54

Peter:

I see nothing in what Orrin said that libelled you.

He made two direct factual assertions about things I had said that, when coupled with the modifiers (… slightest trouble …) combined to attribute to me a position that I had actively taken, and that most people would find repellant. It certainly fits the dictionary definition: a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation.

There are two questions here: whether the assertion was true, and whether, if false, and that information was available beforehand, whether there was the possibility of some injury.

As to the former question, it is demonstrably false, as he well knew. It is false because he asserted I made a material statement, of which there would have to be a record, which he could not produce: in this case, absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

Whether libel applies, that makes him a liar. In making that statement I am not defaming OJ; rather, that is simply a conclusion based upon material evidence. That no more defames him than it does me to for you to publicly announce I have gray hair.

As to the second question, who knows? I am not a public figure, and the site is accessible to any passerby. What would a court say to OJ if he ran out onto the street and yelled the same charge at the top of his lungs?

When you say something in debate, you are not entitled to insist your words are received and interpreted exacly as you say you meant them, and in the spirit in which you meant them.

In general, that is true, but for your consequent to follow, the antecedent has to be true. In other words, what am I entitled to expect with regard to something I didn’t say, even remotely, in debate?

The weakness of my case would be that I couldn’t demonstrate any actual damage, no matter the strengths of my position otherwise. That he subsequently amply demonstrated himself to be a liar with an Olympian talent for prevarication would probably suffice for compensation in any event.

NB: I do not, nor ever did, consider taking my case to court. In that regard, I am one for one, and see no need to improve upon a perfect record. Rather, I am interested, in a theoretical sense, as to what actually constitutes libel, and how it (and how its close relative, sock puppetry) applies to the blogosphere.

Peter Burnet Monday, 27 August 2007 at 04:18

Ah Skipper, you are making the classic mistake of arguing with your lawyer because you don’t like his advice. Nothing to do but seek a second opinion, I’m afraid.

Peter Burnet Monday, 27 August 2007 at 06:35

BTW, you don’t fool me. You are itching for a rematch. Why else would you travel from blog to blog repeating your own defamatory statements at every opportunity?

erp Monday, 27 August 2007 at 08:28

Peter, is that last comment Canadian understatement? I sounds suspiciously like a nasty crack to me.

Hey Skipper Monday, 27 August 2007 at 09:29

you are making the classic mistake of arguing with your lawyer because you don’t like his advice.

No, I simply don’t understand it. If your lawyerly advice was to stay out of a court becuase I could’t demonstrate any actual damages, then I would find that very sensible.

Unfortunately, your lawyerly advice, IMHO, simply fails to address the salient points, which I see as these:

1. Did Orrin make a factual statement?

2. Was that statement false?

3. If false, was it made despite knowing it to be false?

What is your lawlerly advice with regard to those questions?

If it is yes, yes, and yes, then the remaining question is if the intent of the knowingly false stateent was defamatory.

Why else would you travel from blog to blog repeating your own defamatory statements at every opportunity?

Two things here. First, in order to be defamatory, they must be untrue.

Second, it was started merely as a response to [several] folks here have clearly libelled Orrin..

Given that only there have been five people posting on this thread, including you, that means all but two have libelled Orrin. That is a statement begging substantiation.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 27 August 2007 at 09:54

Skipper, I think you ought to toss in “Can the statement be shown to be true or false?”. Just Gödel it!

Peter Burnet Monday, 27 August 2007 at 12:25

Skipper, you are the plaintiff. You must plead your case. Please set out exactly what you say the factual statement Orrin made was. In quotes, please, and with the link, because context counts. That is what you have to do to establish libel. Are you going to demand the judge guess or troll through the Brosjudd archives?

Defamatory statements do not have to be false to be defamatory. But if you (the person who made them) show them to be true, they will not usually be libellous. There are exceptions.

“Here” as in “several folks here” was meant in the broader context of many folks on numerous blogs who graduated from The Brothersjudd Academy.

erp: Neither. Cross-examination. Every good lawyer cross-examines his client privately to see how his tale would hold up in court. Skipper’s needs some work.

Hey Skipper Monday, 27 August 2007 at 18:55

Peter:

The whole shtick about you and your wife killing each other at the first hint of expense or inconvenience and your stated desire to murder your kids if they’d been problems in utero … Posted by: oj at January 1, 2005 09:22 AM

I think the entire quote is libelous, but the second half alleges to me a specific, material action: … your stated desire … that did not, in fact, occur, nor did anything even remotely like it.

Hence my assertions:

1. Orrin made a factual statement: that I had stated a desire to murder my children in utero

2. That regardless of whether he knew it to be false at first utterance, continued to reiterate it after demonstrating the absence of evidence that I had was evidence I had not.

3. The consequence, indeed, the intent, of the statment was defamatory.

Ergo, libel.

Bringing up the next question: how can a true statement be defamatory? You say that in all apparent seriousness, but to someone who INAL, that is very counterintuitive.

Finally, I’m still curious as to what those libels are of which you speak.

Peter Burnet Tuesday, 28 August 2007 at 07:44

Well, I don’t see how you have any cause for complaint about the first part. You did, in fact, post about such an understanding you had with your wife. Many couples have them, but not all post about them on social conservative blogs that defend religion and traditional morality. Your objection seems to be not about a factual mis-statement, but about how he characterized what you and your wife discussed as more heartless and selfish than you saw it. You can only deconstruct so far (“I never said at the first hint of expense—it would have had to have been much more expensive.”?) Granted the difference between fact and opinion can be subtle and many libel cases wrestle with them ad nauseum, but I don’t see much confusion here. And given the nature of the site and Orrin’s oft-stated views on this kind of question, volenti clearly applied. He didn’t seek you out, you sought him.

The second is more problematic and I spent quite a bit of time last evening trying to figure out why. I agree that “stated desire” brings the matter close to the line, but in the end, I concluded that it was more because it was about children, innocent by definition, and was therefore an extremely tasteless and offensive remark. There is lots of tasteful libel and tasteless permitted speech in the world, as you, the libertarian, have often told us is a good thing. Otherwise the same analysis applies, and the fact that both sides were talking about “ifs” that never occurred makes it very hard to put things in the realm of fact. Look, if someone unwisely writes an article about how she and her husband were unhappy when she became pregnant and decided to have an abortion, but changed their minds at the last minute, I don’t see how they can look to the law for redress if some idiot says to their seven year old: “Did you know your parents once wanted to kill you?”.

Another analogy would be in the realm of hate crimes. If I am a frothing Canadian leftist and make a speech saying: “The Americans should be all killed!”, that is arguably incitement and a hate crime, but if I say: “The Americans should all be killed if they vote George W Bush into a second term!”, that is quite different and recognized as such, even if a proud American in the audience is equally enraged by both.

Skipper, I am struck by your apparent lack of insight into your role in all this. Firstly, our arguments are about principles and ideas, but you have a history of personalizing them (remember Janice?)and then getting personally offended. You express extremely contemptuous views on religion, the religious, religious practices and much traditional morality, which you delight in arguing about with religious traditionalists, but then you become insulted when they return the favour and tell you exactly what they think about yours. Imagine a French anti-American leftist whose favourite site was Erp’s New Blog and then cried foul when erp let ‘er rip!

A true statement that is defamatory? “Suzie is a slut.” Just try making a statement like that and then defending yourslef by leading evidence about Susie’s romantic history. Defamatory just means a statement that is intended or is likely to diminish one’s reputation, true or not. Like calling someone a liar. Repeatedly.

erp Tuesday, 28 August 2007 at 09:16

Another analogy would be in the realm of hate crimes. If I am a frothing Canadian leftist and make a speech saying: “The Americans should be all killed!”, that is arguably incitement and a hate crime, but if I say: “The Americans should all be killed if they vote George W Bush into a second term!”, that is quite different and recognized as such, even if a proud American in the audience is equally enraged by both.

In the statement above, you seem to be saying that only a proud American would be enraged by a call to murder his fellow citizens. I would be my hope that members of an audience of any kind short of the KKK or the Canadian parliament might have all risen and as one marched out of a room where it was suggested that citizens of any country should all be killed for any reason whatsoever.

Peter, I am frankly stunned by the above and it reminded me of the many quotes by Canadian officials and citizens (I don’t know if they are all frothing leftists) damning and condemning Americans and using very un-nice, one might even characterize it as blood thirsty, language while doing so, yet I can’t remember any of us yanks s/on returning the compliment s/off.

Peter Burnet Tuesday, 28 August 2007 at 10:25

Geez, this game can be dangerous some days. Erp, it was a hypothetical I made up on the spur of the moment to illustrate the point that whether words are libellous or not or constitute a hate crime isn’t based (or isn’t supposed to be based) on how subjectively insulted, hurt or angry the plaintiff claims to be. I’ve never heard a Canadian say anything even remotely close to that or express anything approaching that degree of contempt and bile. Our specialties are the grumble, the sneer and the whine. Susan Sontag and Michael Moore aren’t Canadians.

Hey Skipper Tuesday, 28 August 2007 at 19:24

Peter:

You did, in fact, post about such an understanding you had with your wife.

Yes, in fact I did, and it was explicitly limited to a specific state of affairs that would have been completely opposite of “at the slightest expense”. I think it is the rare person who would equate that with a persistent post-vegetative state.

Howeve, your point is well taken that would have likely fatally undermined any libel case.

(Actually, I never really was thinking about this in the first place; lazy cutting and pasting brought it along for the ride, which only finally occurred to me last night; had he stopped there, I would have concluded nothing other than “typical OJ”.)

I agree that “stated desire” brings the matter close to the line, but in the end, I concluded that it was more because it was about children, innocent by definition, and was therefore an extremely tasteless and offensive remark.

Here, however, you lose me again. That it is tasteless and offensive isn’t the crux of the matter, the noun “you” and the verb “stated” are.

Both those terms are open to factual analysis. In demonstrable fact, I have never said a word one way or the other on that particular subject. The statement he attributed to me is both about as offenive as they come, demonstrably false, AND one he persisted in despite having that pointed out.

If persisting in making an accusation that has been exhaustively demonstrated false, and is defamatory, doesn’t constitute libel, I don’t know what does.

Put differently, what more would OJ have had to do to cross the line?

Skipper, I am struck by your apparent lack of insight into your role in all this.Firstly, our arguments are about principles and ideas, but you have a history of personalizing them (remember Janice?)and then getting personally offended.

Yep, thought about that, too.

I did have a history of personalizing a discussion if I thought the first hand information would contribute to the discussion; you have too, on occasion. That was much more typical when I was new to the net, and hadn’t yet discovered how OJ would shamelessly ignore context and use such first hand information in an ad homimen attack. One might very well question as to whether it is advisable to include personal information, or whether, since anecdote and data aren’t the same, it ever contributes to a discussion based focussing on principles and ideas (although, given that one memorable instance had to do with whether drugs were useful in treating certain mental diseases, first hand info wouldn’t seem completely off the table).

And I’d buy it, except that I’d think you would have to look long and hard before finding any ad hominem attacks of mine. Had I done so, then I would clearly deserve them in return; but, that is not the case.

So, no, I don’t see my role in becoming the target of a demonstrably false ad hominem attack. This then you become insulted when they return the favour and tell you exactly what they think about yours (given the limits of self awareness here) doesn’t seem to ring true. My memory is reasonably good, and I don’t remember ever taking offense when someone attacked any of my views on religion or the religious. You have done so often, and I will fly to Ottawa and buy you dinner if you can find one instance were I became insulted.

A true statement that is defamatory? “Suzie is a slut.” Just try making a statement like that and then defending yourslef by leading evidence about Susie’s romantic history. Defamatory just means a statement that is intended or is likely to diminish one’s reputation, true or not. Like calling someone a liar. Repeatedly.

You may be using a lawyer’s definition of the term, however, it is not the dictionary’s: damage the good reputation of (someone); slander or libel.

Your analogy is bad. The appellation “slut” is a matter of some opinion. Second, it is out of context. If my best friend was thinking of marrying Suzie, and was unaware of her background, would it be defamatory to tell him she is a slut?

Just so here. If he enjoys a good reputation for truthfulness, then that is a fiction. Given his prediliction towards making untrue statements, and, possibly worse, sock puppetry, then any reputation for truthfulness he might have is undeserved: slander or libel must be part of defamation, must they not?

Peter Burnet Wednesday, 29 August 2007 at 04:47

You may be using a lawyer’s definition of the term,

Yes, we lawyers tend to do that with legal concepts. Occupational handicap, but I’m working on it.

Skipper, although I can think of nothing more heavenly than to spend the rest of my days parsing all your comments of the past five years to settle exactly what you said, why, when, and what you meant by it, I’m afraid the gods of necessity make that a little problematic. But is there not a simpler solution? Just change “liar” to “schmuck”, open a cold one and hug your kids. Problem solved.

Hey Skipper Wednesday, 29 August 2007 at 05:58

Peter:

Keeping in mind you started this whole thing by asserting, without substantiation, that several unnamed people here had libeled Orrin in some unspecified ways …

One of the things I like most about conservatives in general is a strong tendency to call things what they are.

Saying something happened when it doesn’t require parsing, and the name for it isn’t “schmucking.”

BTW, just in time to wrap this up, someone who said something happened when it didn’t — a schmuck, apparently — is found guilty of libel.

In London, of all places.

Making this a perfect circle. Or something like that.

BTW, what is the differnce between the dictionary and legal definition of defamation?

Peter Burnet Wednesday, 29 August 2007 at 07:06

Hmm, I wonder how Hasseldorf would have fared if he had sued OK Magazine for reprorting he had said that if his wife had a terminal illness, he would take to drink.

Michael Herdegen Wednesday, 29 August 2007 at 13:06

Hmm, I wonder how Hasseldorf would have fared if…

More relevant to the crux of this conversation is how Hasselhoff would have fared if he had sued OK! magazine for reporting that he had said that he was going to kill his kids for interfering with his drinking.

Peter Burnet Wednesday, 29 August 2007 at 19:34

No, having thought about it some more, the proper analogy is if he had sued OK Magazine for reporting he had said that, if his wife had a terminal illness, he would beome a drunk, while all he really said was that in such a case he would take to drink.

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