Court dismisses casino mogul defamation case against AP
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit by casino mogul Steve Wynn against The Associated Press and an AP reporter based on a report about two women’s accounts to police alleging sexual misconduct by Wynn.
Clark County District Court Judge Ronald Israel’s written order on Thursday followed an Aug. 14 hearing at which he found that an AP article published in February fairly reported information from the police complaints.
Wynn attorney L. Lin Wood said Friday he will appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.
The judge noted Wood had argued that additional information should have been included in the news report to allow readers to reach their own conclusion about the truth of at least one woman’s allegations.
But Israel sided with the AP position that its reporting on the two police reports was fair and could not have been investigated further at the time because the identity of the women had been blacked out in documents obtained under a public records request, and Las Vegas police refused to provide more details.
A sworn statement filed in July by Halina Kuta, one alleged victim and a named defendant in the defamation case, contained inconsistencies about dates, names and other things that Kuta said happened to her.
Wood said Friday the article should have included more detail about what the Wynn attorney called “delusional details of the alleged childbirth.”
The court order did not resolve Wynn’s case against Kuta.
She told police in February that she had been raped by Wynn in Chicago in the early 1970s and gave birth to his daughter in a gas station restroom.
Kuta also said she was once married to Wynn and bore other children with him, though she acknowledged that she can’t recall all their names or dates of birth.
Among other extraordinary claims, she told lawyers in the affidavit that she was the model for Pablo Picasso’s painting “Le Reve” and that Wynn stole masterpieces by Picasso and Rembrandt from her.
“Le Reve” was painted in 1932, before Kuta was born.
The discrepancies raise questions about the information she provided to Las Vegas police in February.
In state court filings and interviews with The Associated Press, Kuta said she stands by the Las Vegas police report.