Jeff Greene is feeling seriously bitter these days: not only did Kendrick Meek absolutely crush him in the Democratic Senate primary last week, but he looked like a total jerk when only 35 people showed up for his election night party. Couldn't he have at least paid a few extras to mill around and pretend to like him? Isn't that what rich guys do?
When you're that wealthy and that unhappy, someone is going to pay. In this case, Greene hopes it's the Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times. He's hired a big-name lawyer and just filed a libel suit against the papers for writing about his mega-yacht hijinx.
Greene's complaint hasn't been filed yet, but it seems he'll be targeting the papers for reporting about his yacht trip around Europe with Mike Tyson a few years back.
The Times initially reported that Tyson said he'd done tons of drugs on the boat, but later was forced to clarify that while Tyson may indeed have done a ton of drugs, he at least left Greene's boat first before getting totally bananas.
The papers each published a number of other devastating stories about the billionaire, including reports that he took his boat to Cuba, destroyed priceless reefs in Belize, skirted awfully close to committing mortgage fraud, and did all kinds of other crazy rich guy stuff on his boat the "Summerwind."
It's not clear how Greene will build a libel case against the papers, but the New York Times reports that he's seeking at least $500 million to "teach the news media a lesson."
"I want to send a message to every newspaper in the country: Do your homework," he tells the Times. "I deserve to have the record corrected, and they deserve to be punished."
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Riptide called Herald editor Anders Gyllenhaal for comment but we haven't heard back yet. Gyllenhaal declined to comment to the Times.
Gyllenhaal just left a message regarding the suit. "We don't have comment on the suit since its just now been filed," he says. "We can say the coverage of this race and of all the candidates has been fair and deep and thorough, and both papers stand behind these stories."
St. Pete Times editor Neil Brown sent this statement to the New York Times defending his stories:"The Times' coverage of Mr. Greene and his business transactions has been thorough and fair, and the reporting is well-documented in public records."
In conclusion, despite what you heard in grade school, there is something much worse than a sore loser: A rich SOB and wannabe politician bent on chilling free speech by filing silly libel suits.