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Gossip columnist's suit dismissed

June 18, 2008 at 2:22 PM

NEW YORK, June 18 (UPI) -- Attorneys for a former New York gossip writer were preparing Wednesday to appeal a decision dismissing his defamation suit against U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Justice Walter Tolub of the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan threw out the defamation suit filed by former New York Post gossip columnist Jared Paul Stern against Sen. Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, The New York Daily News and others Tuesday, saying it failed to document an alleged conspiracy to ruin Stern's reputation, The New York Times reported.

Stern's attorney, Lawrence Klayman, said the writer would appeal the decision.

In an 11-page decision, Tolub criticized Stern's suit, saying it lacked specific evidence and read "like a Mickey Spillane novel," adding that "it fails, for the most part, to detail the specific acts to enable the defendants a fair opportunity to defend," the Times said.

Others named as defendants included California supermarket magnate and Democratic Party activist Ronald Burkle; Frank Renzi, a former Secret Service agent; Michael Sitrick, a public relations consultant; and William Sherman, a reporter for The Daily News.

Stern claimed the group conspired to spread negative publicity about him after he allegedly turned down a bribe from Burkle.

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