(CN) – Tom Scholz, a founder of the rock band Boston, says the Boston Herald defamed him in an article blaming him for the 1997 suicide of the band’s lead singer, Brad Delp. And Scholz claims Herald reporters fabricated quotes from Delp’s ex-wife to do so.
A week after Delp committed suicide, in March 2007, the Herald published an article under the headline “Pal’s Snub Made Delp Do It,” according to Scholz’s complaint in Suffolk County Court, Boston.
He claims Herald columnists Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa – who also are named as defendants – used fabricated quotes from Delp’s ex-wife in the article in the Herald’s “Inside Track” section.
Micki Delp, denied making two of the statements that were “quoted” in the article, Scholz says.
The column reported that Delp said her ex-husband “was driven to despair” by “a dysfunctional professional life that ultimately led to the sensitive frontman’s suicide.”
The 21-page complaint cites this passage from the March 16, 2007 article: “According to Micki Delp, Brad was upset over the lingering bad feelings from the ugly breakup of the band Boston over 20 years ago. Delp continued to work with Scholz and Boston but also gigged with Barry Goudreau, Fran Sheehan and Sib Hashian, former members of the band who had a fierce falling out with Scholz in the early ’80s.
“As a result, he was constantly caught in the middle of the warring factions. The situation was complicated by the fact that Delp’s ex-wife, Micki, is the sister of Goudreau’s wife.”
Scholz says the Herald writers fabricated the quotes, and that Micki Delp “in fact, made no such statements”.
In 2008, Scholz sued Micki Delp and her sister, Connie Goudreau, for defamation; that lawsuit is still pending.
According to Delp’s testimony in the 2008 lawsuit, Micki Delp told Fee that she did not know why Brad Delp had committed suicide.
When the story was published, Micki Delp demanded that Fee retract the statements, but Fee refused, according to the complaint.
Scholz says Fee and Raposa also invented quotes from an anonymous “insider” in order “to sensationalize a story about Mr. Delp’s suicide in an effort to sell newspapers and to portray Mr. Scholz as an insensitive, heartless and oppressive person.”
Scholz seeks damages for defamation and emotional distress. He is represented by Howard Cooper and Seth Robbins with Todd & Weld of Boston.