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Ex-attorney of Drew Peterson calls libel lawsuit ‘frivolous’

Published: Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 9:58 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — CHICAGO — A day after his former colleague on Drew Peterson’s defense team filed a libel lawsuit against him, lawyer Steven Greenberg fired back in a news release, calling Joel Brodsky’s complaint “frivolous” and filled with accusations made “purely out of spite.”

Brodsky’s lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court, alleged that a letter Greenberg gave The Chicago Tribune presented “a false narrative” that was designed to defame Brodsky as revenge for Brodsky’s attempt to have Greenberg fired from the Peterson case.

Brodsky further alleged that Greenberg defamed him by claiming he was a liar and an incompetent lawyer in order to place the blame for losing the Peterson case solely on Brodsky.

Peterson was found guilty in September of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004.

According to Brodsky’s lawsuit, he lost out on profits as a result of being placed “in a false light in the public eye.”

The lawsuit also named Chicago Tribune parent Tribune Co. as a defendant for publishing information from Greenberg’s letter, as well as Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair. Also named were AOL Patch, Patch Media Corp. and Patch editor Joseph Hosey.

Greenberg said in his news release that he had not been served with the complaint but knew enough about it to comment.

“With respect to the letter to Mr. Brodsky, to the extent there are statements of fact they are true and will be supported by evidence. To the extent it contains statements of opinion they are not actionable,” Greenberg said.

“Mr. Brodsky has demonstrated through his statements, actions, and legal work (sic), that he is willing to say or do anything, regardless of the truth or the consequences,” Greenberg continued in his release. “This case is no different. He has no regard for the integrity of the legal system and little respect for others.”

Brodsky is represented by Chicago lawyer Walter P. Maksym, who on Wednesday issued a statement saying that he was confident Brodsky’s “good name will be cleared and his professional reputation will be restored” as a result of the lawsuit.

Chicago Tribune Editor Gerould W. Kern said in a statement Thursday that the paper stood behind its reporting.

“We stand behind our reporting and our reporters, and we intend to defend this suit vigorously,” Kern said.

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