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LEGAL FILE

<i> Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press</i>

“Miami Vice” star Philip Michael Thomas lost his appeal of a $14 million libel suit against the National Enquirer Friday when the Federal Court upheld dismissal of the suit filed by Thomas, his mother and brother. A 1987 article by the tabloid contained information about Thomas’s brother, Marcus, who the paper reported was serving a 27-year prison term after convictions for raping three women in Sacramento. An earlier story in 1986 disclosed a “rags-to-riches” tale about Thomas as one of eight children in San Bernardino and described the actor as a “momma’s boy” and the child of a “welfare mother.” The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the ruling of U.S. District Judge William Orrick in dismissing the suit. Orrick ruled Thomas filed his claim five days after the one-year statute of limitations for filing a claim had run. Orrick also ruled that the story with references to Thomas as a momma’s boy and being the child of a welfare mother was “substantially true.” Thomas’ attorney argued that the family was not poverty-stricken and that all eight children attended college.


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