MEMPHIS (CN) – A FedEx pilot claims his unreliable ex-wife gave Redbook magazine a load of false information that led to an article called “Invisible Violence” that falsely portrays him as an “emotionally abusive spouse” and mangles the facts.
In a federal lawsuit, Shem Malmquist says publisher Hearst never tried to verify the facts or conceal his identity in any meaningful way. Though the article refers to him as “John,” he says any reader who did a simple Internet search could connect the dots. The article allegedly mentions his ex-wife’s name, which still includes his own last name, one of his kid’s names, his job and where he lives.
Malmquist says he gave Hearst a list of inaccuracies, but received no reply, apart from one automated response. He says the article mentions fictitious characters, describes years of abuse that never happened, asserts that his ex-wife founded an organization called In Defense of the Family, which is actually a conservative group against gay marriage, and even gets the number of years they were married wrong.
The article allegedly stated that Malmquist used to criticize his wife for gaining weight, failing to prepare dinner and being a poor housekeeper, and that he “rolled his eyes” and belittled her at social gatherings, “none of which is true,” he insists.
He also takes issue with a reference to his “rage filled explosions,” saying his ex-wife was the angry, violent one in the relationship.
Had Redbook or Hearst simply looked at public records, he argues, it would’ve seen in the divorce proceedings that he was granted a divorce because of his ex-wife’s physical abuse and “bizarre conduct,” which reportedly prompted the court to give her only supervised visitation with her kids.
Malmquist’s ex-wife, Redbook’s main source, has also brought more than 12 criminal charges against him that never, after investigation, resulted in arrest or prosecution, he claims.
He demands $4.5 million in punitive damages on allegations of libel, defamation and negligent infliction of mental and emotional distress.
His attorney is Roger Rutledge of Rutledge & Rutledge.