Breaking News: Jeff Lewis succeeds in case dismissal in anti-SLAPP motion for Heather McDonald’s response to Jim Bellino’s defamation lawsuit
Jeff Lewis Law prevails in getting the Court to dismiss the case of Bellino versus McDonald. Learn more about the Court’s decision exploring the definition of Free Speech and anti-SLAPP and Showing of Probability of Prevailing on the Merits of Plaintiff’s Defamation Claim in Bellino vs. McDonald.
Watch: Jeff Lewis was a guest on Heather McDonald’s show the Juicy Scoop to discuss the case, anti-SLAPP and its significance in the podcasting and reporting world.
Read: Court Order (in Court Documents below) noting the Court’s decision in this matter.
On June 24, 2019, Jim Bellino filed a lawsuit in Orange County for defamation against podcaster Heather McDonald. The complaint alleges that McDonald’s podcast guests, Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador, said false statements about Jim and his divorce from former Real Housewives of Orange County cast member, Alexis Bellino.
The lawsuit infringes Heather McDonald’s First Amendment rights as a comedian and podcaster. For this reason, McDonald’s attorney, Jeff Lewis, filed an anti-SLAPP motion to request a dismissal of the defamation lawsuit. On March 9, 2020, Judge Layne Melzer granted the motion and dismissed Bellino’s defamation case.
The First Amendment protects the rights of podcasters to report the news whether it is a report about a world peace summit or celebrity gossip. The First Amendment does not permit public figures like Jim Bellino to silence critics through lawsuits costing tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, California has enacted an anti-SLAPP law which allows defendants like McDonald to get to the front of the line and obtain a quick dismissal of a case.
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About Heather McDonald
Heather McDonald is an author, comedian and podcaster. She is the host of the Juicy Scoop, Heather wrote, produced and appeared on E!’s top rated show CHELSEA LATELY for it’s entire 7 year run. She also starred in AFTER LATELY, a mockumentary series on E! for its 3 successful seasons. For more information about Heather, https://heathermcdonald.net/about/
About Jeff Lewis
Jeff Lewis Law is a First Amendment attorney who regularly represents defendants who speak their mind and are unfairly targeted with lawsuits. For more information about Jeff Lewis, see, https://www.jefflewislaw.com/practice-areas/anti-slapp-and-first-amendment/