Regarding a lawsuit filed (PDF) by Anna Nicole Smith's former lover and lawyer Howard K. Stern, the New York Law Journal reports federal judge Denny Chin has ruled that "calling someone a homosexual would not be considered defamation per se." Stern sued TV journalist Rita Cosby, whose book, Blond Ambition: The Untold Story Behind Anna Nicole Smith's Death, claims that he and Larry Birkhead (the father of Smith's daughter) had engaged in sexual relations. Chin, who recently put Madoff behind bars) said, "Gay conduct is no longer a crime, and that gays and lesbians are no longer viewed as shameful or odious." This shift in thought, he commented, was because "of a veritable sea change in attitudes about homosexuality." However, Chin did allow 11 of the 19 alleged defamatory statements to go to trial, such as Cosby's claim that Smith had frequently watched sex tapes featuring Birkhead and Stern and that Stern pimped Smith out. [via Joe. My. God]
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