This case involves a libel claim levied against a senior executive at a top advertising firm. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant assaulted her consistently for the 2 years she was under his direction during the late 1990s. The plaintiff only came forward about the assault almost 20 years after the events. She sought out media coverage for her accusation. When the story became public, the defendant and his legal and public relations counsel refuted the claims, discrediting the accuser as absurd, ridiculous, and illogical. The plaintiff claimed that this alleged defamation emotionally and financially harmed her, as she was vilified personally and professionally. A public relations expert was sought to speak to the public relations of scandal and crises as well as the repercussions of negative press.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your public relations experience as it relates to this case.
- 2. Are you confident in speaking to the standard of care for public relations professionals?
Expert Witness Response E-048830
I have been in public relations and media relations for more than a decade and handled many diverse clients for their generating positive visibility. I have clients in business, healthcare, technology, government, and non-profit, among other industries. My pitch is that everyone has a story to tell, and it becomes my job to get those messages out to the public in order for them to respond. I have lectured a couple of groups on the merits of good public relations and the problems with negative press. Those issues have been addressed with members of a renowned franchised networking organization and several chambers of commerce. This is a case of “he/she said–he/she said,” which makes it tough to litigate unless there was a third party involved that can corroborate one of these stories. Unless there is evidence that can be backed up by a doctor’s examination, police investigation or the like, then the case may not have much to stand on legally. Because these allegations happened 20 years ago, there will be few people who can vouch for either side and the evidence collected may have been compromised or lost because of time.