Melaleuca CEO sues magazine, claims defamation

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Associated Press

Posted on January 31, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 31 at 1:35 PM

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot is suing Mother Jones magazine because he contends that he was defamed by an article that depicted him as a "gay-basher."

VanderSloot, the CEO of direct marketing company Melaleuca, filed the lawsuit in Idaho Falls' 7th District court on Tuesday. He says a February 2012 article about him and two tweets promoting it prompted national criticism.

The magazine's co-editor-in-chief Monika Bauerlein says Mother Jones stands by its reporting and she hasn't yet received official notification of the lawsuit.

VanderSloot is asking for nearly $75,000 in damages. The lawsuit focuses on the article titled, "Pyramid-Like Company Ponies Up $1 million for Mitt Romney." The term "gay-bashing" never appears in the story, but VanderSloot points to a tweet promoting the article that described him as Romney's "gay-bashing buddy."

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