WEST PALM BEACH – The Palm Beach Post defamed a man by printing his photo with a story identifying him as a man of the same name who was arrested and charged with child neglect after deputies found “a stripper pole in his living room, marijuana in an ashtray and liquor bottles in his teen-age daughter’s room,” Anthony Genovese claims in Palm Beach County Court.
The man who was arrested was 41 and the plaintiff is 33 and did none of the things the Post reported; he doesn’t even live in the same town as the man who was arrested, Genovese says.
Both Genoveses apparently have two daughters.
But the plaintiff’s oldest daughter is 14, not 17, as was the girl quoted in the article, and his daughter did not make any of the statements the Post reported, Genovese says.
A clip of the Nov. 9, 2010 article, under the headline “Stripper pole, drugs lead to father’s arrest,” includes the statements: “The deputy talked to Genovese’s 17-year-old daughter, who explained that her sister had a party and her friends brought the alcohol. She said ‘It got out of hand when the girls started taking off their clothing,’ the deputy said.”
The plaintiff Genovese says his youngest daughter is 8, and did not make the statements attributed to the other Genovese girl in the article, which stated: “Interviewed at school, the other daughter said the marijuana was hers and that Genovese let her smoke it in the house because there were ‘worse things she could be doing.'”
The article contains an inset mug shot, which appears to be the photo at issue.
The Post article concludes with a statement attributed to “Genovese,” who called the deputy’s arrest affidavit inaccurate: “‘I can fill the courtroom twice with people who can say how great a dad I am,’ he said.”
Genovese demands $20 million in damages for himself and $15 million for each of his daughters, all on claims of defamation.
The family is represented by Richard Alan II.