Rocker Tom Scholz has been ordered to pay a Massachusetts publication's legal fees after losing a defamation lawsuit. The Boston founder claimed editors at the Boston Herald had suggested that he was partially responsible for his late bandmate Brad Delp's suicide in 2007 after they cited evidence he took his own life when Scholz fired his close friend, Fran Cosmo, from the group's touring line-up.
The 66 year old denied the allegations and took the journalists to court over the story, but he lost the case in March (13) and has now been ordered to cut the newspaper a $132,000 (£85,161) cheque.
Handing down the ruling, U.S. Superior Court Judge Frances McIntyre stated columnists would suffer a great financial burden if forced to pay for their own defence following each court victory, explaining, "This court favours allowing costs in order that the expenses of litigation do not induce an unnecessary and undesirable self-censorship."
And a statement from Boston Herald publisher Patrick Purcell reads, "Judge McIntyre's decision is a reminder of the chilling effect that merit-less defamation lawsuits can have on journalists, and of the harmful impact such suits can have on the public at large."