A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Wednesday threw out a defamation lawsuit brought by Reeves Nelson against Sports Illustrated and reporter George Dohrmann concerning an article critical of the former UCLA basketball player.
Judge Mary Ann Murphy agreed with attorneys for SI and Dohrmann that the complaint concerning the story “Not the UCLA Way” infringed on their clients’ right to free speech. She also found that Dohrmann had numerous sources to back up his article.
“This man spent a lot of time and talked to a lot of people,” Murphy said.
Nelson’s attorney, Olaf Muller, declined to comment outside the courtroom. Defense attorney Daniel Petrocelli also declined to comment.
Nelson also alleged false-light invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress, but those complaints were additionally dismissed by Murphy’s ruling.
Nelson maintained that he was falsely portrayed as a chronic troublemaker who deliberately hurt teammates. He had sought $10 million in compensatory damages and another $10 million in punitive damages.
In a sworn declaration submitted in support of the motion to dismiss the suit, Dohrmann said he relied on as many as 11 sources for some of portions of his article.