'Riverdance' Star Michael Flatley Becomes Lord of the Defamation SuitFri Dec 14, 2007 @ 03:23PM PST
Posted by Eriq Gardner
Irish-American "Riverdance" star Michael Flatley has 11 million new reasons to dance. Flatley sued a woman who accused him of sexual assault for $100 million, alleging defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. According to Flatley's lawyers Bert Fields and Ricardo Cestero of Greenberg Glusker, the woman and her lawyer threatened to go public with allegations of sexual assault unless the Lord of the Dance paid her millions of dollars. Flatley went after both, and the California Supreme Court ruled last year that the lawyer, D. Dean Mauro, committed extortion (he then settled the case).
Now the woman, Tyna Marie Robertson, has failed to contest Flatley's defamation suit, so Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Stern awarded $11.1 million to Flatley in a default judgment.
"This case proves that it never pays to try to extort money by making up false accusations," says Flatley, who is promising to give any recovered money to charity.