Sammy Hagar’s lawsuit fight is over. US District Court Judge Linda Reade ruled last Tuesday that a woman identified in court documents only as Jane Doe didn’t have a case against the 65-year-old “I Can’t Drive 55” singer.
The pseudonymous Iowa woman said that she had an affair with Hagar in the 1980s when she was a Playboy bunny and that she became pregnant with his child, who died shortly after being born in 1989. There were no paternity tests but Hagar paid her $7,000.
However, in his 2011 memoir, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock, written with the help of rock critic Joel Selvin, Hagar told a somewhat different story. He said that he paid off the women because his manager convinced him that it was the right thing to do, even though he didn’t believe the baby from a one-time post-concert encounter was his.
When she said that the baby had died, Hagar became even more skeptical. “I don’t believe that she ever had a baby. She may have had an abortion early on,” he wrote.
He felt that the whole seduction was a set-up to extort money.
Be that as it may, Jane Doe apparently read the book and decided to come back for more. She claimed that the memoir defamed her by violating the confidentially agreement they signed in the 80s. Her attorney originally filed the lawuit in Black Hawk County District Court but it was eventually transferred to federal court since Hagar and Doe live in different states.
By the time the case reached US court, the lawsuit against Sammy Hagar was making claims for defamation and emotional distress as well as the violation of confidentially.
In her dismissal ruling on April 30, Judge Reade noted that Hagar never revealed the woman’s name and that he disguised her identity further by referring to her as a Playboy bunny from California instead of her home state. It would be difficult for the woman to prove any damage to her reputation as a result of Hagar’s memoirs when no one knew who he was talking about in the first place.
Therefore, the judge saw no reason to allow the Sammy Hagar lawsuit to proceed.
[Sammy Hagar photo by Simon Davison via Flickr and Wikimedia Commons]