Former Fox News guest booking director Laurie Luhn, a repeated victim of the late Roger Ailes’ alleged sexual misconduct, lost a major legal round Tuesday in her federal defamation lawsuit against Fox News Media and its chief executive, Suzanne Scott.
Affirming a lower-court decision dismissing Luhn’s complaint, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia ruled that a 2019 Los Angeles Times profile of Scott—in which the executive insisted she “had no clue on what was going on in Roger Ailes’ office” and “I have never had any issues with any sort of harassment myself”—could not meet the legal standard for defamation.
The ruling said that’s because neither Scott nor the article mentioned Luhn and her statements were not “reasonably capable of any defamatory meaning.’’ The appeals court added that Luhn’s lawsuit relies on “a strained set of inferences in an effort to construct a case of defamation by implication.”
Luhn’s attorney, Larry Klayman, told The Daily Beast his client plans to request that all 11 judges on the appellate court revisit the ruling and, if they decline, proceed to the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to get a jury trial.
“This case should have been decided by a jury of Ms. Luhn’s peers, not judges who cut off my client’s constitutional rights to be heard,” Klayman said in a statement. “Hopefully, Fox News and Scott will have a heart and now consider doing the ethical and right thing and settle with Ms. Luhn, as she has been severely damaged by this entire sad saga, having tried to commit suicide on four occasions. Her emotional, physical and financial state is more than precarious and very fragile.”
Fox News Media declined to comment.