Ex-coach wins appeal in defamation claims against ESPN

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan court has reinstated a lawsuit against ESPN by a former college gymnastics coach at Central Michigan University.

Jerry Reighard claims he was defamed on Twitter by an ESPN reporter linking him to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar and a controversial coach. The appeals court found a lack of “minimal due diligence” by investigative reporter Dan Murphy when he referred to Reighard on Twitter in 2019.

A judge ruled in favor of ESPN, saying the tweets were substantially true. But the appeals court says a jury should sort out what happened. ESPN said Friday it was evaluating its options. Murphy didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Michigan, Home, National, News


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