The Miami Herald has a ton of financial problems. Now they have to contend with an incessant Frenchman who claims he's driving a stake through the paper's heart in his homecountry's court.
And once he's done burying the daily, Mickael Cohen is coming to destroy New Times.
In November, we wrote about Cohen, the owner of a South Florida luxury charter jet company under fire from creditors, former partners, and employees who claimed he had stiffed them out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. After the story was published, we've received, oh, 673 ranting emails from Cohen ordering us, in broken English, to remove the story and print a retraction -- but refusing to tell us specifically what we got wrong.
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In February, the Herald also published a story on Cohen's troubles, and yesterday my editor Chuck Strouse got the following email, marked "URGENT URGENT URGENT", which we will publish after the jump in all its sic'd glory:
Good Morning Mr Strouse,
I have the pleasure to tell you, that the Criminal Court of Paris in France just to found guilty the Miami Herald for whispering campaign. Miami Herald was compel to do a announcement in first page in his newspaper with all the the terms of the condemnation.
Remove the article from the Miami Herald website and all other blogs.
And the last think and the best for me, to pay a sum of 1 500 000,00 Euros or 2 065 948,00 usd in damages to Mr Cohen Mickael and Air Platinum Club.
My lawyer will be enforce the judgment with the Court of Florida in the next few weeks.
So now your choice is very simple, you have 3 days to remove your article to any web site and blogs. If in the next 3 days nothing will be removed, my french lawyer start the same Law suite against you.
And with the judgment that we have against Miami Herald, it will be very simple.
So Let me know your decision.
Air Platinum Club
If we read that correctly, the Herald will now be forced to ante up $2.065 million for engaging in a "whispering campaign" against Cohen, those poor saps. The Frenchman did not reply to our emails seeking further details, and we couldn't find mention anywhere else of a decision against the Herald. Writes executive business editor Jane Wooldridge: "To my knowledge, he has not sued us in court in the US, or elsewhere."
But what if Cohen's telling the truth? What if this was all part of his genius plan-- come to the United States, get scads of business associates pissed at him, and then sue the pantaloons off of the newspapers that dare write about it?