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September 07, 1987| Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

NBC should not be punished because it listened to "lies" by Wayne Newton, an attorney for the network told a federal judge in Las Vegas last week in arguments seeking reversal of a $22.8 million libel judgment. Floyd Abrams told U.S. District Judge Myron Crocker that Newton had lied to Nevada gaming authorities before he was licensed to buy the Aladdin hotel-casino in October, 1980. Newton sued the network for defamation following newscasts that linked him to organized crime figures. A federal court jury awarded Newton $19.3 million and the singer was awarded another $3.5 million a month later on a special loss of income ruling by the court. NBC is seeking to overturn the judgment or allow a new trial. Crocker has not indicated when he will rule.

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