PHILADELPHIA — A judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by a gangsta rap critic against two newsmagazines for their reports on her earlier lawsuit against the estate of slain rapper Tupac Shakur.
U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter threw out C. DeLores Tucker's lawsuit against Time, Newsweek, writers for those two publications, and Shakur estate lawyer Richard Fischbein.
Buckwalter ruled that Tucker, a former Pennsylvania secretary of state, was a public figure in the eyes of the law. That means she had to prove that Time and Newsweek wrote the stories with "actual malice," knew they were inaccurate and would "embarrass and humiliate" her and her husband, William. The Tuckers did not meet that burden of proof, Buckwalter ruled.
The Tuckers' $10-million lawsuit against Shakur's estate said lyrics on one of the rapper's albums, in which he rhymed DeLores Tucker's name with an obscenity, caused emotional distress that led to "a loss of consortium." Buckwalter threw out that suit last month.
A subsequent article in Time referred to "claims that lewd remarks made about her . . . caused her so much distress that she and her husband have not been able to have sex." A Newsweek article referred to claims that the lyrics "iced their sex life."
Tucker said the "consortium" complaint had nothing to do with sex.
The couple still have lawsuits pending against dozens of news outlets, including the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times, which carried stories on the initial lawsuit.