Craig Delsack, media lawyer, quoted in The Wall Street Journal, regarding defamation lawsuit against the Daily News for identifying the wrong woman as the infamous “Manhattan Madam.”
Law Offices of Craig Delsack, LLC is one of the firms that represent Bojana Vuleta. On February 6, 2009, Bojana Vuleta, a Queen’s stylist, filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the New York Daily News for falsely identifying her as the notorious “Manhattan Madam” in a February 1, 2009 news story entitled, “Madam’s Slippery Story of Sex Attack.” The lawsuit complaint states that the New York Daily News published a photograph of Ms. Vuleta outside her home, but falsely identified her as the notorious Kristin Davis who has been associated with overseeing a high-priced prostitution ring. The complaint also alleges that the Daily News falsely reported, among other things, that Ms. Vuleta:
- lied to the police;
- was sexually attacked;
- was incarcerated for commission of various crimes; and
- was drunk and slurring her words in public.
Ms. Vuleta, who has never been involved in any of the above acts and who does not even know the “Manhattan Madam” has been harassed at her job and in her neighborhood by people who now claim to believe that she is living a double life. Ms. Vuleta’s image, tagged with the term, “Manhattan Madam,” has spread virally across the Internet, and is now linked with pornography, homosexuality, bestiality, transsexualism, sex toys, and similar topics.
The suit also complains that the Daily News and other news outlets have endangered Ms. Vuleta’s life by, not only publishing her photograph, but also listing her home address prominently in the story. In previous articles, the Daily News reported that the “Manhattan Madam” was in possession of a notorious “black book,” which listed the names of thousands of affluent “customers.” Craig Delsack, representing Ms. Vuleta, commented: “This is simply a disgusting and dangerous act of yellow journalism.” A cease and desist letter was sent to the Daily News and all of the other media outlets directing them to pull the story and to print immediate retractions. The lawsuit complaint seeks $80 Million in damages.
The complaint demands punitive damages against the Daily News, in part, because the paper published another news story on the morning of February 6, 2009, again falsely identifying Ms. Vuleta as Davis, despite that fact that Ms. Vuleta’s attorneys notified the Daily News editor-in-chief, Martin Dunn, of the paper’s blatant misc