614 F.2d 395 (5th Cir. 1980), 79-3072, Campbell v. Seabury Press

Docket Nº:79-3072
Citation:614 F.2d 395
Party Name:Carlyne CAMPBELL, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. The SEABURY PRESS and Will D. Campbell, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:February 29, 1980
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 395

614 F.2d 395 (5th Cir. 1980)

Carlyne CAMPBELL, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

The SEABURY PRESS and Will D. Campbell, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 79-3072

[*]

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

February 29, 1980

Page 396

Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, Stephen D. Heninger, Birmingham, Ala., for plaintiff-appellant.

Bradley, Arant, Rose & White, Linda A. Friedman, Birmingham, Ala., Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, Rudolph W. Giuliani, Renee L. Cohen, New York City, for Seabury Press.

Woods & Woods, James N. Bryan, Jr., Willis & Knight, Alfred H. Knight, III, Barrett, Lenahan, Kniffen & Ray, George E. Barrett, Nashville, Tenn., for Will D. Campbell.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

Before CHARLES CLARK, VANCE, and SAM D. JOHNSON, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

Carlyne Campbell brought this action for libel and invasion of privacy against Will D. Campbell, author of "Brother to a Dragonfly," and the Seabury Press, publisher of the book. The plaintiff claims that the essence of the entire book is defamatory to her, that two specific passages of the book are libelous per se, and that various disclosures in the book constitute a tortious invasion of privacy. The district court found that neither the book as a whole nor either of the two specified passages is capable of a defamatory meaning and dismissed the plaintiff's libel claims. Additionally, the district court found that disclosures in the book challenged in the invasion of privacy claim are protected by a "public interest privilege . . . mandated by the First Amendment." Accordingly, the district court granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment on the invasion of privacy claim.

On this appeal, Carlyne Campbell argues that the district court erred in dismissing the libel claims and in granting the defendants summary judgment on the invasion of privacy claim. The district court correctly dismissed the plaintiff's libel claims. That portion of the judgment appealed from is affirmed on the basis of the district court's memorandum of opinion filed August 14, 1979 (N.D.Ala.1979). Additionally, because of the analysis that follows, we affirm the remaining portion of the district court's judgment that granted summary judgment for the defendants on the invasion of privacy claim.

The autobiography, "Brother to a Dragonfly,"...

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