NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actress Lindsay Lohan and her mother Dina on Monday sued the Fox News Network, TV host Sean Hannity and commentator Michelle Fields for defamation over a comment by Fields accusing the Lohans of “doing cocaine” with each other.
According to a complaint filed in a New York state court in Manhattan, Fields made the comment on Hannity’s show on Feb. 4, 2014, two days after Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of a heroin overdose.
Fields’ comment came in a segment on the show where guests talked about celebrities like Whitney Houston, Elvis Presley and Amy Winehouse, whose deaths were linked to substance abuse, the complaint said.
The Lohans said Fields declared it a “matter of fact” that they used cocaine together and said the comment and show’s theme amounted to a “totally irresponsible and malicious innuendo” to suggest that Lindsay Lohan, 28, might be next to join the celebrity “obituary list.”
Fox News, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, said in a statement: “Our legal team has not reviewed this yet so we cannot comment.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and to stop Fox News from distributing the Feb. 4 broadcast.
Once one of Hollywood’s most sought-after young actresses, Lindsay Lohan has starred in films such as 1998’s “The Parent Trap” and 2004’s “Mean Girls.” But has in recent years she has become known for her legal troubles and rehabilitation stints.
Mark Heller, a lawyer for the Lohans, said the defendants had yet to apologize for, or retract Fields’ comment.
“People should be able to feel that if they hear something on TV or read something in the media, it should be truthful,” he said in a phone interview. “Lindsay Lohan is on the way toward restoring her career and getting back on track, and something like this can be very fragile and hurtful to her.”
The lawsuit was filed just before a one-year statute of limitations was to run out.
The case is Lohan et al v. Fox News Network LLC et al, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 150973/2015.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Alan Crosby