Former Cowboy Robert Jones sues TMZ for libel

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In June 2014, TMZ published a post alleging former Cowboys linebacker Robert Jones was the subject of a police investigation for trying to hire a hit man to kill his agent Jordan Woy.

Jones responded by saying that the two men were close friends and that one of Jones’s relatives was peddling the story because Jones wasn’t willing to give him money after he got out of prison, information that TMZ added to their story in an update that doesn’t appear to have gone far enough to satisfy Jones. The Dallas Morning News reports that Jones has filed suit against TMZ, reporter Elizabeth McKernan and Warner Brothers Entertainment for libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other charges.

The suit maintains that Jones’s cousin Theodore Watson “fabricated” a false story after Jones’s lawyers advised Watson that civil and criminal charges would be sought if he continued to ask Jones for money. Watson then contacted TMZ and the suit claims the company encouraged him to file a complaint against Jones for threatening him. Watson did so (while describing Jones as 5-9 and 180 pounds when Jones is much larger) while also claiming Jones tried to hire him to kill Woy, but was told that his allegations were a misdemeanor and Jones accuses TMZ of embellishing the story about an ongoing investigation.

Jones claims publishing the story “devastated” him and that TMZ did it out of “greed and an unbridled willingness to say anything” if it generated attention. He requested a jury trial in the suit.

15 responses to “Former Cowboy Robert Jones sues TMZ for libel

  1. Even if the story wasn’t devastating to him, that’s a pretty big accusation to actually run without any real evidence other than the dude’s cousin saying he did it. Sue them into oblivion.

  2. Good guy and family man, can you imagine waking up to a national story about you trying to hire someone, to kill your longtime agent/friend? All based on the story of a career criminal? Yes…sue them.

  3. It would be a great day indeed if a reporter and news agency lost a multi-million dollar suit for liable. The days of “we can report and say anything since we are the press” should be over.

  4. Happens all the time at TMZ…they’ll get a salacious story from an “anonymous” source and post first, ask questions of both sides later. Too many media outlets are subscribing to this bill, unfortunately. Edward R Murrow has likely rolled over a few too many times…and Peter Jennings is just shaking his head up in heaven.

  5. justintuckrule says:
    Jun 24, 2015 10:02 AM
    Ok lawyer bashers…. This suit you approve of, huh?

    No one is against lawyers, just scumbag lawyers like the one’s who will represent TMZ, saying they are not libel.

  6. You can thank the 24 hour news cycle and the development of the internet for the death of journalism. Grabbing a story and running with it, and hoping to tack on facts as they go is how you get out in front of the rest of the media in breaking a news story and the American attention span is so short that we won’t even notice if every detail a story began with was wrong.

    TMZ wouldn’t be nearly as successful as it is if people didn’t go to them for “news.”

  7. Shocking, TMZ throws a lot of spit up against the wall and sees what sticks with no regard to whether what they’re “reporting” is true or not? You don’t say. But seriously, they’re often wrong and somehow get kudos because they get poorly sourced stories right sometimes since they don’t follow normal journalistic practices, and that’s a joke in itself in today’s journalistic world to begin with.

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