Ex-Ag employee seeks to substitute Andrew Breitbart's widow in lawsuit

Oct. 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A former U.S. Agriculture Department employee is trying to have journalist Andrew Breitbart's widow substituted as a defendant in a defamation suit.

The motion, filed by Shirley Sherrod in Washington's U.S. District Court last month, seeks to make Susannah Breitbart responsible financially for alleged "libel and slander" that forced Sherrod's resignation from the Agriculture Department in 2010, Politico reported Sunday.

Susannah Breitbart objected to the motion Saturday.

Sherrod, who is black, was forced to resign after Andrew Breitbart's news group publicized videos from a 2010 NAACP speech in which Sherrod seemed to make racist remarks about white people. However, the videos were edited, and a review of Sherrod's complete remarks showed her saying she rejected racial stereotyping.

The Agriculture Department officially apologized and offered a new position to Sherrod.

In Feb. 2011, Sherrod filed a defamation lawsuit against Breitbart, his aide Larry O'Connor and an unnamed defendant, all believed to be involved in publicizing the video. In the suit, Sherrod claimed the video damaged her reputation and prevented her from working at the department. Breitbart and O'Connor unsuccessfully tried to get the lawsuit dismissed.

Andrew Breitbart died of heart failure on March 1, 2012, but Sherrod's case was allowed to proceed. O'Connor and the unnamed person will remain as defendants and Breitbart's name also will be listed as a defendant until a decision is made on Sherrod's motion, Politico said.

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