Sally Jessy Raphael Sues Tabloid
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NEW YORK (AP) _ Former talk-show host Sally Jessy Raphael filed a $100 million lawsuit Tuesday against The National Enquirer for a report that alleged that she had suffered a mental breakdown.
Besides punitive damages, Raphael said, she also is seeking to force a permanent change in the supermarket tabloid’s journalism practices.
``It was malicious. It came out of nowhere,″ she said of the Oct. 22 story, which included the headline: ``Sally Jessy Rushed To Mental Ward! ... Shocking Reason Behind Her Breakdown.″
The newspaper’s publisher, Boca Raton, Fla.-based American Media Inc., said it ``stands firmly behind the accuracy of the information we published about Sally Jessy Raphael.″
The story said the cancellation of Raphael’s TV show sent her ``into a tailspin of despair.″
``Our story was premised on impeccable sources in a position to know the information they conveyed to us. Those sources have reconfirmed the accuracy of our published information,″ the publisher said. ``We look forward to vigorously defending this action and proving the accuracy of our story in court.″
Raphael, whose lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, said she didn’t suffer a breakdown and had not been hospitalized in three years.
``When somebody does that to you, people usually think there’s a kernel of truth in it, and there isn’t in this particular case. There isn’t a word of truth,″ said the 59-year-old Raphael.
Her daytime talk show, ``The Sally Jessy Raphael Show″ _ the longest-running of its genre _ was canceled earlier this year after nearly two decades on the air.
Raphael, a former disc jockey, began the show as a local St. Louis program in 1983, and went national the next year. She was known for her distinctive red eyeglasses.