Marc Elliot is suing Lions Gate Films, the producers of Seduced, for:
- Defamation per see
- Defamation by implication
- Appropriation of name or likeness,
- False light
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
A hearing to “strike” – another way to say “dismiss” – the lawsuit – is scheduled for October 28, 2022,.
The venue is in US District Court in Riverside, CA.
Lionsgate argues the judge should dismiss Elliot’s lawsuit because it is a SLAPP [strategic lawsuit against public participation].
Legislators enacted California’s anti-SLAPP statute to check “lawsuits brought primarily to chill the valid exercise of the constitutional right of freedom of speech and petition.”
Lionsgate claims Elliot’s lawsuit is a SLAPP because they did not defame Elliot.
Seduced’s treatment of Elliot does “not convey verifiable statements of fact, but are instead constitutionally protected opinion and/or hyperbole.”
Seduced uses experts and firsthand accounts to recount the “damaging” conduct of NXIVM, Raniere, and other group leaders.
Brandon Porter, Nancy Salzman and Marc Elliot shown in STARZ’s Seduced.
Lionsgate claims they never “imply” Elliot – “unlike other NXIVM leaders – engaged in criminal or wrongful behavior.”
Elliot alleges that because of the proximity of his appearances to damaging statements about Raniere, Seduced portrays him badly.
The hearing is in response to Lionsgate’s motion to strike filed in February.
US Judge Sunshine Suzanne Sykes will preside at the hearing. She is 48.
Biden appointed her; she took the federal bench four months ago.
Sykes, a Navajo, and former state court judge, is wired with the Democratic Party in California.
The entertainment industry is a significant donor to the Democratic Party in Riverside and Los Angeles.
That is not a good omen for Elliot.
But it gets worse.
Jean-Paul (JP) Jassy [above] of Jassy Vick and Carolan represents the deep-pocketed Lionsgate.
Jassy is a First Amendment lawyer specializing in media, the internet, and entertainment.
But he is not your average lawyer. His clients include “internet giants, television networks, metropolitan newspapers, motion picture studios, nonprofits dedicated to free press and free expression, top-flight production companies and award-winning reporters.”
For over a decade, his peers have named him annually to The Best Lawyers in America® in the First Amendment field, and recognized him six times as “Lawyer of the Year” in Los Angeles in his areas of practice.
In short, Jassy is one of America’s premier First Amendment lawyers. His peers respect him, and no doubt so do judges, their magistrates, and their law clerks.
Nathan Dondi is not yet a licensed lawyer.
On the other hand, Nathan Dondi, of Tully & Weiss represents Elliot.
Dondi may be a bright and rising talent, but he is not a licensed lawyer.
He was a security guard, paralegal, and law clerk. He graduated from law school but has not passed the bar exam. He is working under Tully’s law license as a Provisonally Licensed Lawyer. [PLL]
California’s COVID-inspired PLL law allows law school graduates who have not taken or flunked the bar exam with threshold scores to temporarily handle matters under the supervision of a licensed lawyer.
Dondi will have to pass the bar exam or put in enough supervised hours to become a lawyer.
Law firms use PLLs for low-priority and low-budget matters.
So you have the best in the field versus a guy who has not yet become a lawyer.
Viva Executive Success!