Washington lobbyist Vicki L. Iseman has sued The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) for $27 million over an article that gave the impression she had an affair with John McCain.
The Times reported in a story in February 2008 that McCain aides once worried McCain’s relationship with Iseman had turned romantic. Iseman represented telcos in front of the Senate Commerce Committee, which McCain chaired.
The article said that both McCain and Iseman denied any romantic relationship, but it’s the implication that has Iseman angry.
Iseman said in a statement to the media:
“That The New York Times would make such aggressive and sensational allegations and insinuations in the face of on-the-record denials by Ms. Iseman and Senator McCain only reinforced the message to readers that The New York Times in fact believed that Ms. Iseman and Senator McCain had indeed engaged in an ‘inappropriate relationship,’ a relationship that was romantic, unethical, and a conflict of interest,” the lawsuit says. “Otherwise, reasonable readers would conclude, The New York Times would never have printed the story at all.”
The New York Times said it stood by the story and would vigorously defend itself against the suit. The defamation suit also names the Times’ executive editor, its Washington bureau chief and four reporters as defendants.