Skip to main content
#pounditTuesday, July 23, 2024

Kings forward suing local newspaper for defamation

Richaun Holmes wearing goggles

Dec 28, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings center Richaun Holmes (22) during the game against the Denver Nuggets at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

A Sacramento Kings player is suing the biggest newspaper in the area.

NBA insider Chris Haynes reported on Friday that Kings forward Richaun Holmes is suing the Sacramento Bee and their staffers for defamation. The point of contention is five individual articles published by the newspaper.

Holmes’ attorney, Camille Vasquez, said in a statement that the “defendants intentionally, and maliciously, published claims of child and domestic abuse by Mr. Holmes despite easily accessible evidence to the contrary via public court filings.” Vasquez also called the Sacramento Bee’s actions “a coordinated and malicious effort to deliberately defame” Holmes.

The 29-year-old Holmes, who is in his eighth NBA season, was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife last March. The Sacramento Bee was the outlet that published the allegations made by Holmes’ ex-wife, accusing Holmes of domestic violence as well as of the supposed abuse of their 6-year-old son (per The Athletic). But judges in two different states would later grant Holmes both the sole physical and legal custody of his son (according to James Ham of ESPN).

To meet the legal conditions for defamation (a.k.a. the prima facie case), Holmes will have to prove that (1) there was a false and defamatory statement made about him by the defendants, (2) that there was publication or communication of that statement to a third party, (3) that there was fault on the part of the defendants, and (4) that he suffered harm. But because Holmes is a public figure, he will also have to meet a higher standard to prove defamation. Namely, Holmes will need to prove that the defendants acted with “actual malice” (either that they knew the statement was false or that they acted with reckless disregard as to its truthfulness). For those who are not public figures, only a showing of negligence is required.

Holmes is averaging 3.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game in 35 appearances for the Kings this season (though he had a bigger role last season, averaging 10.4 points and 7.0 rebounds per game). He now becomes the latest sports figure to be the plaintiff in a defamation case.

Load more
Exit mobile version