Sheldon Adelson’s latest defamation suit hinges on a hyperlink.
Notoriously litigious , the Las Vegas Sands (LVS) CEO is also currently suing a Wall Street Journal journalist who called him a “scrappy, foul-mouthed billionaire from working-class Dorchester.” Now, Adelson is eager to let his legal team put their daggers into the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) for an online petition it circulated in 2012, with a hyperlink Adelson says is libelous.
The petition in question called for then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to refuse Adelson’s campaign donations. The rationale behind this push was a report published by the Associated Press, which suggested that the solicitations of women of ill repute were tolerated at LVS’s casinos in Macau.
(We will now pause while everyone who has ever stepped foot in any Las Vegas casino, where prostitution is also illegal, chuckles).
The AP story in question referenced the ongoing wrongful dismissal case between LVS and former Sands China CEO Stephen Jacobs, citing an accusation made by Jacobs in his filing against the company. But the NJDC petition failed to mention that the accusation was part of judicial proceedings, and that its veracity was being hotly contested by LVS.
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The LVS filing states that Adelson, 82, who only opted to sue when the NJDC refused to print a retraction, finds the “practice of prostitution morally abhorrent,” and operates a “zero-tolerance policy” to prostitution in his casinos.
“The online ‘petition’ at issue here accused [Adelson] of taking ‘Dirty Money’ from ‘PROSTITUTION’ and did not discuss or even mention any judicial proceeding,” stated Adelson’s filing.
The Nevada Supreme Court has been asked to decide on whether a hyperlink can be defamatory, although we think it should also be asked to offer a judicial opinion on the unwarranted and inflammatory use of the caps lock key.
Meanwhile, a domain name of “CasinoMogulsInCourt” might be snatched up in Las Vegas this week, as it looks like Wynn Resorts‘ War of Roses could now be in danger of morphing into the Hundred Years War.
Elaine Wynn, 73, his suing her ex-husband (the couple were twice married and divorced) Steve, 74, in an attempt to regain control of her $900 million, near-ten percent stake in Wynn Resorts.
The couple founded the company together in 1992, but Elaine ceded voting control of her shares in 2010 as part of a (then) amicable divorce settlement, so that Steve could would retain control of the company.
Things became distinctly less warm and fuzzy when Steve booted his ex off the board in 2012, and court filings this week suggest that relations between the former lovebirds have now become decidedly frosty.
Elaine this week accused Steve of setting “a tone at the top of the company that has given rise to years of unchecked business activities and reckless behavior.”
Mrs. Wynn, meanwhile, “is simply recycling the same lies and distortions she has sought to promulgate in an attempt to embarrass Mr. Wynn, his fellow board members and colleagues,” according to Steve.
The only winners in this “Wynn-Wynn” situation are likely to be the attorneys for both parties.