NYT in legal tangle over report on McCain's romantic past | world | Hindustan Times
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NYT in legal tangle over report on McCain's romantic past

A Washington lobbyist has filed a suit against a daily seeking $27mn in damages, alleging that it had falsely created an impression about her being engaged in an improper romantic relationship with John McCain during the Presidential campaign.

world Updated: Dec 31, 2008 13:23 IST

A Washington lobbyist has filed a suit against a daily in New York seeking US $27 million in damages, alleging that it had falsely created an impression about her being engaged in an improper romantic relationship with Republican John McCain during the Presidential campaign.

Vicki L Isemanis has contended that a front page article in New York Times on Feb 21 "falsely communicated" that McCain and she "had an illicit romantic and unethical relationship in breach of the public trust in 1999 when she was representing clients before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee then headed by McCain".

The suit, filed in the Federal District Court in Richmond, Virginia, said she did not engage in "any behaviour ..That was anything other than professional and appropriate."

The article, the Times said, did not directly say that Iseman and McCain had had a romantic relationship. But it did say several aides of his had been "convinced" that he had grown too close to Iseman and that he might be damaged if the relationship became known.

"We fully stand behind the article. We continue to believe it to be true and accurate and that we will prevail. As we said at the time, it was an important piece that raised questions about a presidential contender and the perception that he had been engaged in conflicts of interest," said spokesperson of Times Abbe R Serphos.

The article had quoted Iseman and McCain as denying that they ever had a romantic relationship or engaged in any inappropriate behaviour, the Times said.

The defendants in the suit are The New York Times Company, the paper's executive editor Bill Keller, its Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet, Times reporters Jim Rutenberg, Stephen Labaton and David D Kirkpatrick and Marilyn W Thompson, then a reporter for the paper.