Activist Claims Newspaper Defamed Him

     PORTSMOUTH, Va. (CN) – Political consultant Michael Muhammad says the Virginian-Pilot defamed him in a story that described him as a “self-professed radical” who “once implied that Downtown Norfolk should burn.”

     Muhammad, who says he works as a paid political consultant and youth gang violence prevention advocate, sued the Virginian-Pilot Media Companies in City Court. He seeks $10 million in damages for libel.
     Muhammad says the May 1, 2010 article, which ran in print and on the paper’s website, were “authorized by [sic] Harry Minium and Louis Hensen.”
     The story claimed Muhammad became a “lightning rod in the mayoral race … when he forwarded a negative e-mail” about a mayoral candidate.
     The article also reported that Muhammad “spews profanity when agitated,” according to the complaint.
     Muhammad claims that “the statements were made with such gross indifference and recklessness as to amount to a wanton and willful disregard of the plaintiff’s reputation and rights.”
     He says the article impedes his ability to do his job and accused him of committing a criminal offense.
     Muhammad is represented by Bruce Sams of Norfolk.

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