HarperCollins Author Accused of Defamation in New Orleans Memoir

     NEW ORLEANS (CN) – The owner of a jewelry and antiques store claims HarperCollins and Julia Reed defamed him in Reed’s book, “The House on First Street,” by accusing him of buying stolen jewelry – Reed’s.

     Anton Heine, owner of Anton’s in Metairie, says he bought the jewelry in 2007 with no idea it was Reed’s, and that when Reed claimed it he “went out of his way” to return it to her. Nonetheless, he says, Reed sued him and then defamed him by accusing him of criminal conduct in her 2008 book.
     Heine says he bought the jewels “from an individual without any knowledge of the fact that the jewelry had belonged to defendant, Julia Reed.” He says that in making the purchase on Jan. 23, 2007, that he “complied with every legal requirement,” and says he “cooperated fully with the legal authorities.”
     Heine says he “went out of his way to help defendant, Julia Reed, retrieve items that she claimed to own. Despite petitioners’ cooperation and assistance, defendant Julia Reed sued petitioners for conversion of her property.”
     Heine says Reed’s books have “a very large following.” He says “‘The House on First Street’ contained libelous and defamatory statements which contained false statements and extreme defamatory rhetoric which include an express and/or implicit accusation of criminal conduct on the part of petitioners.”
     He claims Reed defamed him and HarperCollins was negligent in not checking facts.
     Heine is represented in Orleans Parish Court by C. Arlen Braud II of Madisonville, La.

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