MANHATTAN (CN) - Former City Councilman Allan Jennings claims the Queens Chronicle defamed him in an article that reported he had placed an ad in a Chinese-language newspaper "declaring his love for all Asian women." He says the bogus report was meant to turn voters in his majority black district against him.
Jennings sued the Queens Chronicle, its corporate parent Mark I Publications, its owner Mark Weidler and general manager Raymond G. Sito, in a pro se complaint Queens County Court.
"On or about October 28th, 2010, the defendants published an article in the Queens Chronicle entitled 'Allan Jennings new run for old seat' 'Ex-lawmaker plagued by controversy' (hereinafter article)," the complaint states.
"The said article claimed that Allan Jennings published an advertisement in a Chinese newspaper declaring his love for all Asian women.
"The statement was intended to turn voters against Allan Jennings in his district considering that fact that the majority of the voters are African-American."
Jennings says he never placed such an ad.
"The plaintiff never at any time published an article in a Chinese language newspaper or any language newspaper declaring his love for all Asian women," the complaint states.
He claims the "defendants negligently published the false and defamatory statements ... causing him to suffer damages, including emotional distress and injury to his reputation," and that they did it "with the knowledge that the statements were false, or with reckless disregard as to the truth of the statements."
He seeks "enhanced damages."
The Queens Chronicle is a free weekly that claims a circulation of 160,000.
Jennings lost the election for a seat in the city's 28th District to Ruben Wills.