Sheldon Adelson, Republican mega-donor and Mitt Romney supporter, has filed a $60 million dollar lawsuit against the National Jewish Democratic Council for libel. The lawsuit alleges that the NJDC “conveyed to the public that Mr. Adelson personally approved of and profited from prostitution” at his resorts. Adcelson has become a billionaire building and owning casinos all around the world.
The suit, which was filed on Wednesday, claims the NJDC made “maliciously false and defamatory statements” in press releases and a petition drive referencing investigations and lawsuits filed against Adelson.
The suit goes on to state that the NJDC purposefully tried “to advance their perceived political interests by assassinating Mr. Adelson’s character, punishing him for exercising his right to make monetary contributions to political causes and candidates of his choice, and demeaning him within the Jewish community.”
The NJDC had conducted a campaign in July to try to convince Mitt Romney to give up the millions given to him by Adleson because it was tainted and dirty. According to the suit the NJDC quoted a former disgruntled employee who said that Adelson approved of prostitution at his hotels.
Almost immediately the NJDC decided to cancel the campaign when it realized the charges against Adelson were false.
NJDC CEO David Harris and chairman Marc Stanley said in a joint statement,
“We don’t believe we engaged in character assassination; we stand by everything we said, which was sourced from current, credible news accounts,”
In response to the suit the NJDC said they were well within their rights to launch the campaign. In a statement released to the press the group declared,
“We know that we were well within our rights. We will not be bullied into submission, and we will not be silenced by power. This is not Putin’s Russia, and in America, political speech regarding one of the most well-known public figures in our country is a fundamental right.”
The lawsuit alleges that the group went well over their Constitutional right to free speech and became malicious when they published demeaning and slanderous materials which they knew were false.