Tag Archives: deceased

Deceased Victims of Slander/Libel/Exploitation (2)

Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs

Steve JobsSteven Paul “Steve” Jobs (/ˈɒbz/; February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)[5][6] was an American entrepreneur[7] and inventor,[8] best known as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. Through Apple, he was widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution[9][10] and for his influential career in the computer and consumer electronics fields, transforming “one industry after another, from computers and smartphones to music and movies…”[11] Jobs also co-founded and served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, when Disney acquired Pixar.

Westboro Baptist Church to protest Steve Jobs’ funeral

The Kansas-based organization, which has protested memorials of everyone from victims of gay bashings to those killed in the 2006 Sago Mine disaster — often times with signs stating “God Hates Fags” — has called for “no peace” for Jobs.  Westboro to Picket Steve Jobs Funeral (It Said Via iPhone)

The church, which has become famous for its unofficial “God Hates Fags” slogan, has been at the center of many controversial pickets in recent years, including sending congregation members to protest at the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards. The church also threatened to picket the funerals of those killed in the Arizona shootings, an act many found particularly distasteful. Those plans were later abandonedWestboro Baptist Church Leader, Margie J. Phelps, Tweets Picket Of Steve Jobs Funeral From An iPhone    CBS Article


Lyndon Baine Johnson – 36th President of the United States

Lyndon B. JohnsonLyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969), a position he assumed after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States (1961–1963).

He is one of only four people who served in all four elected federal offices of the United States: Representative, Senator, Vice President, and President.

In October 2003, Barr McClellan published Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K.. As its title suggests, the book makes an astounding claim that former President Lyndon Johnson, and other deceased officials and persons, were involved in a conspiracy to murder President Kennedy.

This claim is patently absurd. Yet according to the New York Times, over 75,000 copies of the book have been sold.  Defaming The Dead: A Legal Remedy for Absurd Charges That LBJ Murdered JFK


Errol Flynn – Actor

Errol FlynnErrol Flynn was an Australian actor, known for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films and his flamboyant lifestyle. He has been accused of being a Nazi, a Communist, a murderer, having sex with underage girls, a diamond smuggler and a crooked cock fight person among other things.

Flynn biographer Charles Higham claims his research shows the dashing actor’s espionage for the Germans led to hundreds dying in concentration camps. The disturbing claims angered many in the actor’s birthplace of Tasmania, Australia, including his daughter Rory and grandson Sean. Did Hitler recruit Errol Flynn as a spy for the Nazis?

The actor, Errol Flynn was called a homosexual and a Nazi spy in a book published by Dell Publishing Company. In a lawsuit filed by his children, the court stated plainly, “A libel on the memory of a deceased person is not deemed to inflict on the surviving relatives any such legal damage as will sustain a civil action for defamation.” Flynn v Higham, (1983) 149 Cal.App.3d 677

On July 10, 1981, plaintiffs filed a complaint captioned defamation of character against Charles Higham (author of the book Errol Flynn the Untold Story), Dell Publishing Company (publisher of the same book) and various Does (hereinafter collectively referred to as defendants). The complaint stated that the defendants defamed the plaintiffs by writing that their deceased father was a homosexual and a Nazi spy.  Rory and Deirdre Flynn     Judgment based on this case as being too harsh or unconstitutional (Angie Dickinson)


Jack Rose – 


Defendant newspaper published an article concerning the death of the plaintiff’s father and husband erroneously identifying him as a notorious murderer. The plaintiffs, who were mentioned only as the surviving wife and children of the deceased, sued to recover damages for injuries to their reputations. Held, no recovery. Rose v.Daily Mirror, Inc., 31 N. E. (2d) 182 (N. Y. 1940).

Most jurisdictions deny recovery by anyone for libel of the memory of a deceased.

The court ruled that the statements made by the newspaper had no “direct reflection” on the family members, although they were named. Therefore, they could not receive damages. Interestingly, the court noted that the state’s legislature had the duty to change the law. Rose v Daily Mirror, Inc. (1940) 284 N.Y. 335   Repository Law, Indiana

The New York Court of Appeals refused to allow the survivors of a defamed decedent to recover against a newspaper because the newspaper’s admittedly defamatory statements concerning the deceased made “no direct reflection” upon the surviving plaintiffs.46 The case had arisen out of an article in which the defendant erroneously identified the recently deceased Jack Rose with “Baldly Jack Rose” a “self-confessed murderer.”47 Presumably because of the rule on the defamation of the dead, Jack Rose’s survivors—whom the article had named—sued the newspaper on their own behalf.48 But the court held that to allow the survivors to recover for defamation of the dead in this situation would be a “far-reaching” departure from New York’s long-standing law.49  Fordham Publications

46. See Rose v. Daily Mirror, Inc., 284 N.Y. 335,337 (1940); Other jurisdictions have adopted a similar test relating to the direct reflection on surviving plaintiffs. See, e.g., Curtis v. The Evening News Assoc., 135 Mich. App. 101,103. (Ct. App. 1984) (holding that the plaintiff could not recover for defamation arising out of an article that falsely stated that plaintiffs dead son had a criminal character); Hughes v. The New England Newspaper Publ’g Co., 43 N.E.2d 657,657-8 (Mass. 1942) (holding that the decedent’s wife could not recover against a newspaper for defamation arising out of an article on the suicide of the decedent because the article was not directed against her even though it identified her as the decedent’s spouse); Lee v. Weston, 402 N.E.2d 23,26 (Ind. Ct. App. 1980) (holding that the decedent’s parents could not recover for defamation of their son for defendant medical examiner’s statement that their son died of “overdose” because the statement did not reflect upon them, even though their son did live with them); Lambert v. Garlo, 484 N.E.2d 260,262 (Ohio Ct. App. 1985) (holding that decedent’s relatives could not recover for defamation against coroner and newspaper publisher for the statement that the former made in the latter’s newspaper that the decedent was clearly a “pusher” because the plaintiffs were not directly injured by the statements that did not name or refer to them).


California CADEFLAW Petition

Global Petition Link

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Posted by on March 18, 2013 in Advocacy


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Cadeflaw MilestoneCadeflaw stands for California Anti-Defamation Legacy Law. Its purpose is to make a change in the California law that would allow for a course of action for family members who are harmed by the defamation of their deceased loved one. The law is not without precedent; five states have such a law on their books. Idaho, Georgia, Nevada, Colorado, and Louisiana have laws protecting the reputation of the deceased. The goal of Cadeflaw is to add California to the list of those states that protect the reputations and legacies of those who have passed on.

Cadeflaw’s initiative does not intend to thwart freedom of speech. We believe everyone has a right to say whatever they wish; we do however, believe that each person should be held accountable for their words. Words can leave lasting and deep wounds, and sometimes it’s the truth that is painful. When something is said or written that is true and is reported for a purpose it is one thing. However, using words to intentionally defame or hurt someone is not socially or morally responsible. That is our belief and it is why this effort was started and why Cadeflaw will continue to work until the change in the law comes to fruition.

Cadeflaw started when Michael Jackson passed away. As mourning people struggled to understand the depth of emotion and grief they were feeling, they sought others who shared their feelings.  One cause of their continued sorrow was the ongoing media degradation of Michael. The reporting of rumor, speculation, and the rehashing of old lies began to take a toll on those who loved Michael. Caring and concerned people came together and developed ways to honor Michael and share “the other side of the story”.

One group of people became especially close and as they shared their thoughts and feelings, an idea came forward to urge the State of California to put a law into place that would allow an avenue of relief for family members when a deceased loved one is the object of defamation. This idea took off under the leadership of Mary Brookins, Administrative Director of CADEFLAW. The supporters of CADEFLAW will no longer passively accept the disrespectful and cruel assassination of Michael or anyone else that is not here to defend themselves.

The inspiration behind this initiative is Michael Jackson; however, the law is not intended to cover only Michael. The proposed law will give every citizen, regardless of social standing or status, the right to respect and dignity after they have passed on. It will give every family a chance to stop the pain, suffering, and possible financial loss caused by the defamation of a deceased loved one.

Since its inception in early 2010, Cadeflaw has had many opportunities to get our message and goal out in front of people. Very early on, Karen Kmiecik, Cadeflaw Finance Director, had the opportunity to travel to California. While there she was able to meet with Mr. Thomas Mesereau, Michael Jackson’s attorney during his 2005 trial. Mr. Mesereau read our petition and wished us well in our endeavor. One of the earliest exposures we had was an interview by Billy Johnson from Yahoo! Music. Valmai Owens, Director of Publications MJTP interviewed us for her blog. Firpo Carr has interviewed us and we have twice appeared in his Los Angeles Sentinel column. Cadeflaw has a regular column in the Jam Café Magazine, the Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait online magazine, where each month we strive to share information on our progress and continue to enlighten people about our effort and its importance. Several times each month, Cadeflaw hosts blog talk radio shows where various topics pertaining to the group’s objectives are discussed.

Cadeflaw organized its first official event in August, 2012. It was held in California and was organized to coincide with Michael Jackson’s 54th birthday. This was an exciting way to present Cadeflaw’s mission and the group worked diligently to make it a success. The event was held at the J Spot Comedy Club in Los Angeles, and Cadeflaw Fundraising Director, Christina Tozer was present to facilitate. The event was hosted by Mr. Broderick Rice. Several notable speakers were present, among them Geraldine Hughes, author of “Redemption”; Larry Nimmer, Emmy-award nominated filmmaker and creator of the documentary “The Untold Story of Neverland”;   April Sutton, BET Television host and reporter; and William Wagener, Producer at Mary Brookins, Cadeflaw Administrative Director, gave an introductory message. The event was a success in getting people aware of Cadeflaw and the importance of protecting the reputations and legacies of the deceased.

We needed twenty-five California registered voters to sign our petition in order to present our plea to the California Legislative Counsel. During the spring of 2012 we gathered 91 signatures and we submitted a letter requesting the Legislative Counsel to consider our request for a minor change in California law.

The Cadeflaw law is simple; it only changes California Civil Code §§ 44-48 by changing the definition of who can be defamed to include “a natural person whether living or dead”. Standing rules follow the California Probate Code §§ 6400 – 6414.

Cadeflaw’s proposal was submitted to the California Legislative Counsel in May, 2012. In July we received this communication from the Legislative Counsel: “Pursuit to your request, we have prepared, in appropriate form, your initiative measure to be submitted to the electors, relating to the extending the cause of action for defamation of a deceased person to the person’s relatives.”

Now that the proposed initiative has been written, we must submit the draft to the California Attorney General with a written request that a circulating title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the initiative measure be prepared (Elections Code § 9001(a)). At the time of submission we must pay a fee of $200. The $200 fee is to be placed in a trust fund in the Office of the State Treasurer and is refunded if the initiative measure qualified for the ballot within two years after the summary has been issued to our organization. If the initiative measure fails to qualify within that period, the fee is put into the General Fund of the State (Elections Code § 9001 (c )). At the time of request for title and summary we must also execute and submit a signed statement prepared by the Office of the Attorney General in reference to the collection of signatures. Our plan is to initiate a petition signing campaign before submitting the draft of the bill to the Attorney General. We must find dedicated people in the state of California

Cadeflaw is ready for the next step in bringing our mission to completion. We have come a long way from that little group of women who wanted to “make that change” as Michael Jackson sang. We want to make a difference, and take a stand against irresponsible journalism ……………….

Cadeflaw is also involved in other ways of trying to “make that change” in people’s lives. During the early part of 2012 Cadeflaw Research Director, Vanessa Little, shared a burden she had on her heart for the children of Gary, Indiana. Gary is the birthplace of Michael Jackson, and it is a town that has been overlooked in many ways. Cadeflaw sought a public school that could use some extra help and the Frankie Woods McCullough Girls’ Academy responded to our inquiry. The girls who attend the Academy are known as the Butterflies. Cadeflaw has adopted the Academy, and supporting the Butterflies has become very important to Cadeflaw. You can learn all about all about Cadeflaw’s Butterfly Project here Cadeflaw Gary, IN Butterfly Project

(See Media – Cadeflaw Articles)

B. Owens, Cadeflaw Secretary/Journalists

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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Advocacy


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MotherDiva Show Pre-Grammy Red Carpet 2012 pt 2

Pete Allman, Owner at Celebrity Scene News, interviewed by Valencia Dantzler, aka Mother Diva. Mr. Allman discusses Michael Jackson and Cadeflaw. He also discusses a little about a script written for ”In Search of Neverland”, the story about Michael Jackson and his friendship with Gloria Berlin, and how she found Michael his paradise, Neverland.

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Cadeflaw Interviews


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Michael Jackson Fans Want Anti-Defamation Law For Deceased

A group of Michael Jackson fans have created the California Anti-Defamation Law petition in hopes of getting a law passed that would make it illegal to slander the dead.

Mary Brookins, 57, and half-a-dozen other Jackson supporters who met in an online Jackson fan group, is upset by the negative coverage the “Thriller” singer has received since his passing. group is angered by articles that referrer to Jackson as “Wacko Jacko,” suggest he was the victim of a self-inflicted drug overdose, or is guilty of child molestation charges for which he was tried and found not guilty in 2005.
























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Posted by on September 25, 2011 in Cadeflaw Articles


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