VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – Mixed martial arts fighter Dominic Richard claims the Vancouver Sun and its reporter Kim Bolan defamed him in a front-page story that falsely claimed he was a gang member involved in drug dealing and murder – then publishing a small apology on the inside of the newspaper.
Bolan’s story, which was also published online, explored links between criminal gangs and the burgeoning mixed martial arts scene after Joe Krantz, a fight-club owner and member of the Independent Soldiers gang, was gunned down.
Richard says the story described him as a member of the Independent Soldiers gang, one of several groups clamoring for a piece of British Columbia’s lucrative drug trade. Richard appeared in a front-page photograph taken at a fight held at Krantz’s club, where he defeated a member of the United Nations gang.
Richard he claims Bolan never contacted him to check the information in the story.
After he sent a written demand for an apology through his lawyer, the complaint states, the Sun published a small apology but only slightly edited the online version of the story.
Richard also sued the Sun’s corporate parent, CanWest Mediaworks Publications, Sun publisher Kevin Bent, editor-in-chief Patricia Graham and the Pacific Newspaper Group.
Richard is represented by Bryan G. Baynham with Harper Grey LLP.