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DEFAMATION: NO REDRESS FOR THE DEAD

DEFAMATION: NO REDRESS FOR THE DEAD

When you’re alive, if someone makes false statements about you that aren’t true – and in some cases, if true but it can be proved that such statements have been made with malice – this is called defamation of character. Defamation is ugly. It has the potential not only to destroy your reputation, but your family and your livelihood, too. Quite frankly, words are akin to weapons that have the ability to make or break your life. Thankfully, those with enough money and a good, solid case, have the ability to sue for libel (if the offending words are written) or slander (if the words have been disseminated orally).

When you die, however, you lose that ability to seek redress. You may think those rights are now passed onto your family or Estate, but they’re not. Once you’re dead, anything can be written or said about you without consequences. And all it takes is the circulation of one lie to ruin your good name.

Celebrities are often subject to libel in the tabloid press. But libel and slander aren’t simply the preserve of the rich and famous. Every day, courts are dealing with the maligned reputations of ordinary individuals and/or businesses small and large. Some lose their jobs, their friends, their families, their health and well-being, all due to the effects of defamation. Some resort to legal redress, while others feel that seeking such redress will only add fuel to the fire. But the common factor is that – with enough money and stamina – celebrity or not, one can seek legal redress.

But this is not the case when you die. A lie about you may surface and spread. This time, nothing can be done about it because you’re no longer here to defend yourself, and your family can’t go after the individual(s) responsible because there are no defamation rights for the deceased. Now your good name is forever tarnished and your family has to deal with the aftermath. You may have children or a significant other who have to navigate through the mire of injustice, or the company you left behind might be wound up because nobody wants to do business with something you were associated with any more. The countless possibilities of how it might affect all those who knew and loved you are profound. These situations happen more frequently than you think.

 

Now, imagine if there was a law that could extend defamation protection to your family and Estate after you die….

Will you support the AdLLaw Initiative by signing the global petition and sharing with your family and friends.

 

Dee Pfeiffer, Professional freelance writer and editor based in the heart of the UK, MJL Trustee

Acil Leitz, Advocate

 

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POSTHUMOUS RIGHTS: THE DECEASED AS LEGAL RIGHT-HOLDERS

POSTHUMOUS RIGHTS: THE DECEASED AS LEGAL RIGHT-HOLDERS

RIGHTS OF THE DEAD by Kirsten Rabe Smolensky*   (Page 8/41)

Interest Theory: Deceased Can Have Interest That Survive Death

Posthumous Rights of DeceasedAssume that a person dies and his neighbor spreads defamatory remarks about him. These remarks hurt the decedent’s reputation, regardless of whether he is alive and can become emotionally upset by the statements. The fact that he does not know about the harm does not mean that a harm to the decedent’s interest, namely his reputation, has not occurred.

One might respond that while the decedent’s reputation is harmed in this example, the decedent is not harmed because he cannot know about the defamatory comments after his death. But knowledge of a legal harm is not required for a legal harm to occur. Take, for example, a living landowner whose land is trespassed upon by a harmless trespasser without his knowledge. In this hypothetical, the landowner’s legal interest is harmed even if he never discovers the trespass. Similarly, even though a decedent will never know about any particular harm to his posthumous interests, that does not mean that a harm has not occurred or that such harm should not be protected against.

In ruling that Elvis Presley’s right of publicity survived his death, the New Jersey District Court said that “‘[i]f the right [of publicity] is descendible, the individual is able to transfer the benefits of his labor to his immediate successors and is assured that control over the exercise of the right can be vested in a suitable beneficiary.’” While the court notes that posthumous rights of publicity incentivize living persons to work hard, it also notes that it is important for individuals to be able to choose an appropriate beneficiary, presumably one who will exercise the right of publicity judiciously and in a way that protects the decedent’s interest in his reputation.

Others have also noted posthumous rights protect decedents’ interests. In discussing his efforts to enhance protections for deceased celebrities in California, the attorney for Marilyn Monroe LLC said: “Ms. Monroe expressed her desires in her will—that the Strasberg family should be the protectors of her persona. The enactment of this legislation helps ensure that the wishes of Ms. Monroe and all other deceased personalities will now be fully respected.”  What drives many posthumous rights is not only the recognition that some interests survive death, but also a desire to respect decedents’ wishes.

However, the realization that some interests survive death does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that all interests must or should survive death. For example, interests that “can no longer be helped or harmed by posthumous events,” such as a secret desire for personal achievement, die upon the death of the interest-holder. Minimally, the distinction between interests that survive death and those that die with the decedent turns on whether a record exists of the particular interest in question. The record could exist either in the mind of a surviving friend or family member, or it could be recorded in writing. But, if an interest is incapable of being known after death, then the law cannot protect it.

Furthermore, the simple fact that an interest survives death does not require that the law recognize this interest as a posthumous legal right. Theoretically someone could die with a certain set of interests written in a document, perhaps a will. These interests might include the desire to transfer assets to one’s children after death or the desire to have one’s flower garden tended in perpetuity. Given the wide range of posthumous interests that survive death in a philosophical sense, the law’s purpose is to choose which of these interests are worthy of legal recognition.

Interest Theorists make few suggestions about which surviving interests should be recognized as posthumous legal rights. This determination requires a theory about which sorts of posthumous rights should be recognized.

http://www.academia.edu/1079914/Do_we_have_moral_obligations_to_the_dead

http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1506&context=elr

Interests that survive death.

The right to have their estate governed as they requested

The right to privacy for their family members

Posthumous interest to protect name from being defamed via family, friends and in the case of artists their fans.

Posthumous right to constitutional free speech. If the living has the right to free speech those with an interest to the deceased should be able to speak for the decedents.

The decedents should have a posthumous right to protect and preserve their legacy through friends, family members or fans in the case of an artist.

An artists may desire that his or her artistic work survives him/her. In that case there has to be people who continue to support or buy the works. His/her fans would be responsible for maintaining that interest because they will continue to buy the product.

Right not to have sperm/viable eggs removed from body unless that request has been made, in writing, while living.

Right to safeguard reputations in cases of defamation and invasions of privacy.

Right to artistic creations, name and image

If death marks the end of conscious existence, shouldn’t it mark the end of legal existence as well?

The right of publicity to survive death: the right of an individual to control the commercial value of their name, image and likeness. The right of publicity was used by the singer Bette Midler to stop a car company from using a singer in a commercial who sang in a similar style to Midler and by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to stop an advertiser from using an Onassis look-alike. http://www.alternet.org/story/147332/how_dead_people_have_more_rights_than_you_do!

The deceased DO have INTEREST that survives death. They may be DEAD but they are not DONE. Let’s make sure those interest are respected and carried forward by supporting the AdLLaw Initiative. Sign the petition at:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-the-legacy-of

MJ Brookins, Advocate/AdLLaw Admin

 

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What links Diane Dimond & Dylan Howard (Editor of Radar Online/National Enquirer)?

What links Diane Dimond & Dylan Howard (Editor of Radar Online/National Enquirer)?

Dylan Howard Editor of Radar Online National Enquirer

The answer is Paul Baressi – former Private Investigator and tabloid broker.

Here’s a little info on Baressi:

During the Michael Jackson allegations of 1993; Baressi was asked by his former girlfriend Stella Marcroft and her partner Phillippe Lemarque to help them sell a story alleging that they had witnessed Michael Jackson molesting Macaulay Culkin. Baressi managed to get them a $150,000 offer from the National Enquirer, but the couple was so greedy they went over his head to lawyer Arnold Kessler, who persuaded them to dismiss the offer Baressi had managed to get them and promised them a much bigger offer. Baressi was not happy; and secretly taped them to tell their story once again.

Armed with the “tape”, he then approached The Globe: “I called the editor at The Globe and I said, ‘I have a tape, I’m on the way down town to hand it to the District Attorney.’ And his words were, ‘let us come with you.’ And then I knew I had him. The next thought in my mind was I’m going to ask for $30,000. You always ask for twice as much as what you hope to get. He put me on hold, and within less than a minute he came back and he said ‘well, we can’t give you thirty, we’ll give you ten.’ I said ‘make if fifteen,’ he said ‘you have a deal.'” Reporter: “Could you see the headlines coming? Barresi: “Oh yeah, sure, and I could see that money coming too.

He arranged a $15,000 deal with Globe but greed and impatience took over resulting in him contacting Kevin Smith of Splash News Service; resulting in the story being featured in the Daily Mirror, for $24,000. This meant that eventually when Globe was finally interested in the story; they would not pay him because of the Mirror scoop. It is alleged that Baressi threatened Kevin Smith in order to gain $10,000. The end result was that Baressi made $30,000 on the whole story.

In addition; Baressi was regularly hired by Anthony Pellicano to “gain dirt” on any celebrity client sex stories. Pellicano was a former PI to Michael Jackson. Pellicano has also sold various MJ “stories” to the tabloids.

Pellicano is now serving a 15 year sentence in jail for conspiracy to commit wiretapping. He was actually indicted on 150 counts including racketeering, conspiracy, wiretapping, witness tampering, identity theft and the destruction of evidence.

So where is the link?

Diane Dimond and Paul Baressi

Diane Dimond is a known supporter of Wade Robson. Radar Online are known supporters of Wade Robson. And Paul Baressi? Well he’s a greedy tabloid broker who only cares about money!

I think we can conclude here that these stories are absolutely coming from the Wade Robson camp in an attempt to manipulate public opinion in preparation for the civil suit in 8 months’ time. The upshot? These stories are tame compared with what will come out over the course of the next 8 months. They will get worse. And it also means that WE have only 8 MONTHS to act and stop these stories! We must take action NOW!

Support the AdLLaw Initiative by signing the global petition and sharing with family and friends.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-the-legacy-of

 

Submitted by: Kerry Ward, MDF Admin

 

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THE STAIN OF AN ACCUSATION: CAN IT EVER BE REMOVED?

THE STAIN OF AN ACCUSATION: CAN IT EVER BE REMOVED?

Stain of An AccusationCan the stain of an accusation ever be removed although the accused may have been exonerated in a court of law? Many people including myself do not think so and I’ll explain why. A rose is still considered a rose regardless of the specific names given to each class of roses. It still looks like a rose.

An accusation is a charge of wrongdoing; imputation of guilt or blame. A stain is defined as a cause of reproach; stigma; blemish. Both sounds the same to me.

Let’s talk about stains for a minute. It is possible to cover up the appearance of blood stains but is the stain really gone? I found one Reader’s digest article HERE http://www.rd.com/slideshows/how-to-remove-blood-stains/ that gives us “8 Common Items That Remove Blood Stains”. The items include vinegar, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide (work only on fresh blood stains), cola, WD-40, cornstarch, talcum powder and cold salt water.

Article also states blood stains are relatively easy to remove before they set but can be nearly impossible to wash out after 24 hours and this is the significant problem with the aftermath of a stain. From this article and perhaps many others we understand that it is possible to remove stains, especially blood, if we act quickly but the problem remains: The stain is still there although we cannot see it and it is possible for the stain to be uncovered via other means or methods.

Then we have the chemical “Luminol” used by criminal investigators at violet crime scenes in hopes of discovering blood. Much of crime scene investigation, also called criminalistics, is based on the notion that nothing vanishes without a trace. This is particularly true of violent crime victims. A murderer can dispose of the victim’s body and mop up the pools of blood, but without some heavy-duty cleaning chemicals, some evidence will remain. Tiny particles of blood will cling to most surfaces for years and years, without anyone ever knowing they’re there.

Luminol At WorkThe basic idea of luminol is to reveal these traces with a light-producing chemical reaction between several chemicals and hemoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein in the blood. The molecules break down and the atoms rearrange to form different molecules (see Microsoft Encarta: Chemical Reaction for more information on chemical reactions). In this particular reaction, the reactants (the original molecules) have more energy than the products (the resulting molecules). The molecules get rid of the extra energy in the form of visible light photons. This process, generally known as chemiluminescence, is the same phenomenon that makes fireflies and light sticks glow.

Investigators will spray a suspicious area, turn out all the lights and block the windows, and look for a bluish-green light. If there are any blood traces in the area, they will glow.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/luminol1.htm

So now we consider the ill effect of the “Stain of An Accusation”. Remember Michael Jackson, marked as a child molester, who seems to be a popular topic of conversation among admirers and skeptics. Many of his admirers are of the opinion or belief that if the accusations are ignored they will eventually disappear. I have to strongly disagree with that kind of thinking. Evil and negative thoughts are always present, though the evidence of it may remain dormant for long periods of time they are still there. Like blood stains may well go undetected to the naked eye they still exist.

Accusations of child molestation is not something to take nonchalantly and I sincerely believe it to be a stigma that will linger and Michael Jackson knew that too. An excerpt from the following people.com article: In 2003 Jackson Faced Charges He Had Molested a Child. He Was Found Not Guilty, but His Reputation Never Fully Recovered.   http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20292704,00.html

Indeed he seemed to emerge from the trial a broken man, the downward spiral of his life and career only accelerating. His friend Dr. Firpo Carr says that the singer, who spent his last years often traveling abroad and raising his children, continued to be tormented by the stain the accusations had left on his reputation. “It took a great toll on him,” says Carr. “He never recovered from the trial. He never did.” As Carr tells it, Jackson’s planned comeback was not just about money but about some attempt at personal redemption. “That was part of the reason for these concerts: to prove himself again,” says Carr, “to give something great to his fans, the show of all shows, and to have the comeback of all comebacks. This was so everyone would remember him for his music, not for the scandals. He didn’t get a chance to do that. But that’s what it was about.” 

“Never Recovered” is the most significant phrase in the excerpt above. That’s the after effect of the stain I speak of, the stain of a severely injured reputation that can never be repaired or removed. An accusation left unchecked causes the stain to enlarge its territory by way of ravenousness wolves. If the person being accused were living it would be up to them to address their accusers and still that may not halt the public indictments or remove the stain, but the possibility of defending oneself is greater. On the other hand what about the deceased and who will defend them? Who will speak on their behalf?

What can we use to remove that stain or to keep it from spreading further?  Only the existence of an “Antidefamation Legacy Law” to first, protect and preserve the “Legacy of those Deceased” and second to protect the “Sanity of the family members or those left behind”. Why not bring about legislation which will include the deceased among those who, when defamed, can have the same legal protection as the living; by giving their family members a statute upon which to base a civil cause of action?

We, The Anti-Defamation Legacy Law Advocates, see this initiative or law as any other; a possible deterrent for most and a tool for the more serious offenders. If a person is deceased nearly anything can be said or written about them. Even the non-famous can be targets which mean that we and our loved ones are at risk.

Intentional defamation of a decedent does more than just hurt their survivor’s feelings; it can endanger their health and welfare through false public perception, judgments and actions taken. We hold dear our First Amendment rights, but there is nothing in our Constitution about bearing false witness as a legal right.

Try as we have been doing for five years now we cannot do anything about the horrible stain that has been imputed to Michael but we can help his children and family by standing together in favor of this law.

Will you support the Anti-Defamation Legacy Law (AdLLaw) Initiative by signing the petition and contacting your two United States Senators and the President? https://antidefamationlegacylawadvocates.org/

http://www.exploreforensics.co.uk/detecting-evidence-after-bleaching.html

http://www.freestockimages.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/coffee-stain-texture.jpg

http://www.freestockimages.org/2010/10/03/free-stock-images-part-36-coffee-stain-textures/

“Alone we’re just an “Echo” in the mountains but TOGETHER we are the “Mountains”. Support the AdLLaw Initiative today.

Please support the #AdLLawInitiative by signing the petition AdLLaw Petition

MJ Brookins, AdLLaw Admin

March 7, 2015

 

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THE TIME IS NOW FOR ADLLAW/CADELAW TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW

THE TIME IS NOW FOR ADLLAW/CADELAW TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW

Time For AdLLaw is NOWMore and more the public is calling for the reigning in of intrusive police practices and tabloid news that constantly abuses the right to a free press and infringes on people’s privacy rights. During his lifetime, Michael Jackson endured extraordinary invasions of his privacy as a public figure, as well as slander and defamation of his character, to which he protested vigorously. Nor was it not long after his death on June 25, 2009, that the media started in on his family, especially his underage children. And while there is at least the possibility of legal remedy for the living, heretofore there has been none to protect the rights of the surviving family of the deceased. That is why CADELAW is a bill whose time has come.

In her 2010 book, Outrageous Invasions: Celebrities’ Private Lives, Media, and the Law, UConn law professor Robin D. Barnes devotes Chapter 10, “John Lennon and Michael Jackson: The Influence of the Superstar,” to discussing how because of the popularity bestowed by the media and fans on John Lennon and Michael Jackson, the two men became targets of deliberate attempts by governments to neutralize their cultural and political impact. Lennon’s youngest son, Sean, told the New Yorker magazine in 1998 that his father was considered a threat because of his influence: “If he had ever said bomb the White House tomorrow, there would’ve been 10,000 people who would have done it. Pacifists revolutionaries are historically killed by the government.” Barnes reports that “government impotency in relation to the potentially unbounded influence of the superstar,” means clandestine methods and tactics are to shape the “tone and tenor of public discourse.”

The case of Lennon, according to Barnes, leads to understanding how an “equally powerful superstar,” Michael Jackson was also considered a monumental threat to disrupting the status quo. Michael’s 1998, “Man in the Mirror” (written by Siedah Garrett with Glen Ballard), along with the revolutionary social and political message in the lyrics and in the images used in the short film that went along with it “put the world on notice,” according to Barnes.

But in the summer of 1994, when a confidential report of accusations of child molestation was leaked to Hard Copy tabloid reporter Diane Dimond from the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, the ensuing media persecution began its relentless quest for ratings by using rumor and scandal. Already marginalized for his eccentricities, Michael was objectified, dehumanized, and finally demonized as the press cashed in. For example, Barnes cites Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, Tom Mesereau’s comments that tabloid huckster Nancy Grace’s coverage of the trial held in 2005 “was sub-moronic . . . [and that] she tried to spin a verdict through a lot of emotional innuendo that was just buffoonery.”

Barnes asserts that while trying to prove there was an “actual conspiracy to imprison Jackson” was elusive, the case could be made for Jackson being a convenient scapegoat to deflect heat off the Catholic Church because of the concurrent sexual abuse allegations against clergy of the Archdiocese of Boston. The massive investigation of the Catholic Church went on for several years before Jackson was again falsely accused and his Neverland ranch raided by 70 County Sheriff’s and members of Tom Sneddon’s District Attorney’s Office. All this to control Michael’s rising political influence.

From 1994 until he died, Michael endured relentless persecution from the media. Barnes asserts that while the U.S. Constitution grants free speech and freedom of the press, the Supreme Court fails to enforce the laws that require prerequisites to the proper exercise of those freedoms and the protection of constitutional rights. She notes that the media defends slander and defamation by asserting that the statements they make are true for the most part. False statements also get a pass as simply being reported or quoted, most often from anonymous, so-called inside sources.

Still, Michael is gone now and supposedly what the media writes or broadcasts can no longer hurt him. Obviously not, but it can and does hurt his young children, as well as other family members who share his name. For that reason, our representatives should be introduced to CADELAW and asked to vote to pass it to protect the rights of the family of the deceased.

Article written and submitted by: Sherry Walker Bryant

 Sherry Walker Bryant is a doctoral student at Ball State University in Muncie Indiana. She is designing an educational series called “Teaching Michael Jackson” to share her research and writing a book on Jackson’s worldwide charismatic influence.

Direct links:
The Petition with goal spelled out: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/prot…

Find your Senators & Contact them: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact…

Contact President: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/wri…

Share with family & friends:

Ask them to endorse the Initiative so it may become a law.

Help us educate about the unjust legal loophole which may affect you when it comes to your deceased loved one or yourself once you are gone.

Video Credit: CadeFlawResSpec/Sharon Kendrick – a.k.a. Dial Dancer

 

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AdLLaw/Cadeflaw Promotional Cards – Global Initiative

AdLLaw Banner Global2

Fernanda Promotional Card for AdLLaw in Italian

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2014 in AdLLaw Promotion

 

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Who said the Dead can’t be sued for Defaming the Living?

Here Lies A Decedent

Since the start of this organization and throughout its evolution it has been visited by persons who said they had legal knowledge and had come to set the record straight.   They argued there is no need for a law against defaming the deceased.   Going on to explain such a law would give way to frivolous law suits, violate our First Amendment Rights, hamper writers and the dead did not need to worry about their reputations.  It was further pointed out the possibility of a deceased person being sued for an act of slander committed while they were alive was highly unlikely.  

A listener on one of our CadeFlaw radio shows said the probability of a law suit against a decedent for slander happening had about the same chance as an average person affording the Hope Diamond.

Well, the Hope Diamond has just become very affordable.

Well, the Hope Diamond has just become very affordable.

Well, the Hope Diamond has just become very affordable.

Jesse Ventura file a law suit for defamation against the Estate of Chris Kyle author of American Sniper and won.

In January 2012, former Navy Seal Chris Kyle was on the Opie and Anthony and Bill O’Reilly shows promoting his autobiography titled “American Sniper”.  During the interviews Chris Kyle said in 2006 while in a bar that was holding a wake for a slain Navy Seal he punched a man he dubbed Scruff Face, because of derogatory remarks made about Seals who had lost their lives in Iraq.  Later he would identify the person called Scruff Face as former Minnesota Governor and former Navy Underwater Demolition Team member Jesse Ventura.

Jesse Ventura publicly stated he had never met Chris Kyle, was not in the bar when the punch took place and did not disrespect dead Navy Seals.

In 2012 Jesse Ventura filed a petition for a defamation suit which was approved with a court date of June 2013.

“On Saturday, February 2, 2013, Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield were shot and killed at the Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge-Resort shooting range by veteran Marine Eddie Ray Routh.”

It is reported Jesse Ventura requested the book’s publishing company, and Chris Kyle’s Widow and Estate Executor remove his name from the book and any possible movie.   They stood by Kyle’s claims of accuracy in the book and denied Ventura’s request.   Jesse Ventua petitioned the Courts to move the suit from Chris Kyle to his Estate. The request was granted.

“On July 29, 2014 Jesse Ventura was awarded $1.8 million in the defamation suit against the estate of Chris Kyle”

Dead Can NOT Sue For Slander

The possibility of a deceased person being sued for defamation is a reality.

 But the ability for a family to sue the slanderer of their deceased loved one is an impossibility. 

Because there is no law against defaming the dead.  There is no legal way to hold a slanderer accountable by the Family or Estate of a defamed decedent. 

Let’s change this.

 Sign the Petition:    http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-the-legacy-of.fb51?source=s.fb&r_by=8406728

Contact your U.S. Senator and have them endorse it:    http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Contact the President and ask him to endorse it:    http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/write-or-call#write

Contact family, friends & associates and ask them to do the same.

10599881_519033774908701_431143186_o

There are many gaps and omissions in the articles available for research.  Few articles hold an unbiased stance on this situation.  Nowhere did I find an accurate chronicle of events.  I will leave further reading and discussion of the rights or wrongs of either party to you readers.

References:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-30/jesse-ventura-wins-his-not-so-dumb-defamation-suit-against-dead-hero

http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/02/naval-seal-author-chris-kyle-lies-then-dies-what-next-for-jesse-ventura-2554836.html

http://www.tpnn.com/2014/07/30/the-reaction-to-jesse-venturas-victory-in-his-lawsuit-against-chris-kyles-widow-aint-pretty/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/jesse-ventura-wins-1-8m-in-american-sniper-defamation-case/

S. Kendrick – a.k.a. Dial Dancer

 

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