Scottie Pippen’s Defamation Lawsuit Rejected Again, This Time Forever

In a negative turn of events for retired Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen, the Supreme Court has decided to let stand lower court decisions to dismiss a $10 million lawsuit that Pippen filed against several major national media outlets by refusing to comment on the case.

The lack of comment from the nation’s high court affirms the previous decisions made by the lower courts. According to Chicago Business Lawyer Litigation Blog, Pippen has run into several financial hardships since his retirement from professional basketball in 2004. Pippen has attributed much of his loss to poor investment decisions and advice from his legal and financial advisers and in turn has filed several lawsuits against them. When media outlets became aware of Pippen’s ongoing financial difficulties, they falsely reported that Scottie Pippen filed for bankruptcy, a claim which simply ended up being untrue. Pippen, in turn, filed a lawsuit against NBCUniversal Media LLC, CBS Interactive, and other media outlets seeking $10 million in damages.

In his lawsuit, Pippen alleges that when the national media outlets falsely reported that he filed for bankruptcy, they refused to remove or correct the published stories after the truth had been made clear. Despite Pippen’s complaint, the courts hearing the case decided that Scottie Pippen is a public figure, and any individual classified as a public figure has a higher burden of proof when alleging libel or defamation. That is, Pippen, as a public figure, would need to prove that the accused media outlets named in his suit knowingly published incorrect information about him and that the information was issued with reckless disregard for the truth. In sum, Pippen would need to show that the information published about him was done so with malice.

Though the two lower courts and Supreme Court, through their lack of comment on the case, have decided that Pippen failed to prove the above scenario, Pippen cannot be blamed for showing concern regarding the allegations that he filed for bankruptcy. As Chicago Business Litigation Lawyer Blog correctly points out, many employers will not hire someone if it is known that the individual being considered for a position has previously filed for bankruptcy or is suffering from debt. And, as The Inquisitr has previously reported, Pippen has had somewhat of a “rough road” since his retirement including an incident where he was sued for $4 million for “roughing up” an autograph seeker.

From Pippen’s perspective, once the reports alleging he filed for bankruptcy were published, the damage was already done. Such information made public could in fact harm his future ability to generate income, and from that standpoint, Scottie Pippen has every right to show concern.

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