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Ex-coach wins appeal over defamation claims against ESPN

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Central Michigan University
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Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University. Jerry Reighard claims he was defamed on Twitter by an ESPN

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan court has reinstated a lawsuit against ESPN by a former college gymnastics coach at Central Michigan University. Jerry Reighard claims he was defamed on Twitter by an ESPN reporter linking him to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar and a controversial coach.

The appeals court found a lack of “minimal due diligence” by
investigative reporter Dan Murphy when he referred to Reighard on Twitter in 2019.

A judge ruled in favor of ESPN, saying the tweets were
substantially true. But the appeals court says a jury should sort out what happened. ESPN says it will appeal.