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Attorney Says TMZ Defamed Him

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Entertainment lawyer Ronald Grigg says TMZ defamed him in a story about a lawsuit filed by Grigg's former client, "Batman" producer Jon Peters. TMZ, a celebrity gossip site, printed the story under the headline, "Famous Producer Alleges Fraud, Theft, Date Rape," according to the Superior Court complaint.

In the underlying lawsuit, filed on Dec. 24, 2008, Peters claimed that Grigg "engaged in conduct of a sexual nature on Mr. Peters ranch property, including two woman (sic) to whom Mr. Grigg allegedly administered a drug known 'Special K.' Plaintiffs are informed and believe and hereby allege that while the women were grossly intoxicated, Mr. Grigg engaged in sexual conduct with them."

In that complaint, Peters also accused Grigg of installing himself as president of Peters Entertainment while Peters was recuperating from surgery and passing himself off as a descendant of Oscar Wilde, among other things.

In the new complaint, Grigg says TMZ falsely accused him of committing "fraudulent, deceitful and criminal acts," and of stealing computers from Peters "which contained lots of confidential info about Peters' film business."

Grigg says TMZ failed to mention the complaint he had filed against Peters two weeks earlier with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, detailing his complaints about his time as president of Peters Entertainment.

Grigg claims that TMZ left out the employment dispute to publish the most sensational story possible, and that the story "exposed Grigg to the risk of a tainted jury" in his employment complaint.

Grigg also claims that he is not a public figure.

Grigg demands $20 million for defamation and false light. He is represented by Ray Kermani of Beverly Hills.

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