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Donna Summer Files Libel Suit Against Magazine

October 2, 1991

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Singer Donna Summer filed a $30 million libel lawsuit Tuesday against New York magazine. She said it falsely quoted her as once saying AIDS was a ″divine ruling″ against homosexuals.

″That is completely false. I did not say it. I do not believe it,″ Miss Summer said at a news conference to announce the Superior Court lawsuit.

New York magazine’s Aug. 5 issue said Miss Summer, 42, a born-again Christian for several years, once described homosexuals as ″sinners″ and said AIDS was ″a divine ruling.″ The three-paragraph article gave no specifics on when or where she allegedly made the remarks.

The article, quoting a ″music-industry insider″ it didn’t name, said Miss Summer decided against including on her new album a song that would serve as an apology to homosexuals for the comments.

The lawsuit also says the report about the song is false.

″The article in New York magazine hurts me deeply. It also hurts those people who read the article and believe it to be true,″ Miss Summer said.

Fran Kessler, assistant to the editor of the magazine, wouldn’t comment and said the magazine had not been served with the lawsuit.

Miss Summer cooed her way to fame in 1975 with the disco anthem ″Love to Love You Baby.″ She was known as ″Queen of Disco″ for such tunes as ″I Feel Love″ and ″Last Dance.″

Attorney Elizabeth Mann, who represents the singer, said the article damaged prospects for Miss Summers’ new Atlantic Records album, ″Mistaken Identity.″ The lawyer said some disc jockeys and clubs refuse to play the record because of the statements attributed to her.