NEWARK (CN) – The widow of boxing champ Arturo Gatti claims The New York Daily News, The New York Post and Maxim Magazine defamed her by calling her a stripper who was suspected of killing her husband. Amanda Carine Barbosa Rodrigues says she was never a stripper, and her husband died by his own hand while vacationing with her in Brazil.
Rodrigues’ federal complaint cites several lurid headlines and stories from the defendants. She says her husband “died as the result of suicide” on July 11, 2009, in Brazil.
Two days later, she says the Daily News printed her photograph on its front page with the headline “Arturo Gatti’s stripper wife charged with strangling ex-champ as he slept.” The accompanying article referred to the widow of 2 days as a “sexy stripper-wife” and “former exotic dancer,” according to the complaint.
Rodrigues’ says the Daily News reported that she met her husband-to-be “while she danced at a club in Brazil,” but reported in other articles that they met at “a gentleman’s club in Weehawken, N.J.” and at “a New Jersey Strip Club.”
The New York Post repeated the defamation in its article, “Gatti killed self: wife,” which referred to her as “Arturo Gatti’s stripper wife,” according to the 9-page complaint.
She claims Maxim Magazine falsely reported that she was a stripper in March 2010, with a detailed – and fictitious – story of her courtship with her late husband.
According to the complaint, Maxim reported: “Gatti walked into the Squeeze Lounge, a Weehawken, New Jersey go-go bar, with his black German shepherd, Hex, in late 2006. Amanda Rodrigues was onstage behind the bar. Like the other girls at the club, she’d dance, swing on the 30-foot pole, and strip to a G-string and bikini top. Tight-bodied, with a belly piercing and a loud but seductive manner, Amanda had landed in the Garden State from her native Brazil in 2000.”
Rodrigues claims all of the articles “clearly accuse plaintiff in engaging in immoral activities, and/or pertain to the unchastity of a female,” causing her “humiliation, embarrassment, and mental anguish.”
She seeks punitive damages for libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
She is represented with Mark Casazza of Rudnick, Addonizio & Pappa.