Alliance Joins Brief Arguing New York’s Anti-SLAPP Law was Properly Applied to Protect Journalist

On April 21, the Alliance joined a brief, filed in the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division First Department, concerning the application of New York’s amended anti-SLAPP law. In Zeitlin v. Cohan, Jide Zeitlin sued a journalist for an article published in ProPublica entitled “The Bizarre Fall of the CEO of Coach and Kate Spade’s Parent Company.” The article profiled Mr. Zeitlin’s life and his rise to becoming one of only five Black Fortune 500 CEOs. The article also covered his nomination for an ambassadorship and his subsequent withdrawal from this nomination and resignation as CEO of luxury fashion holding company Tapestry, allegedly because of allegations of sexual impropriety related to an extramarital affair. Mr. Zeitlin sued for defamation and the journalist moved to dismiss under New York’s anti-SLAPP law. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, and Mr. Zeitlin appealed. The brief, filed by RCFP, argues the article covered an issue of public interest as defined by the law and that the trial court properly applied the correct standard of proof Mr. Zeitlin was required to meet, and failed to, under New York’s anti-SLAPP law to defeat the motion to dismiss. Read more.

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