Two NFL players have filed suit against a newspaper for allegedly defamation after a Sun newspaper reported they had a baby girl in the first trimester.
The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, says the paper’s headline “Sued by NFL Players for Child Abuse” was defamatory, according to court papers.
“The Sun News Network published false and malicious information about Plaintiff and her pregnancy and falsely accused Plaintiff of being a drug abuser,” the suit says.
“Plaintiff is a former NFL player and is now a mother and grandmother, and is an active participant in various child-rearing activities and programs for young children.”
The suit alleges that Sun Media Inc., the parent company of the newspaper, “has engaged in a pattern of defamation, including by falsely reporting to the public that Plaintiff is a drug addict and that she and her husband were arrested in a drug-related traffic stop.”
The lawsuit also alleges that the Sun News article “misrepresents Plaintiff’s background and causes the public to believe Plaintiff and others are drug abusers.”
It was not immediately clear how much the suit is seeking in damages.
The couple also filed a counterclaim in the case, which says the newspaper made the article public after they learned the players’ names.
The suit also asks for unspecified damages, but declined to elaborate.
The NFLPA, the NFL Players Association and the NFL’s executive committee declined to comment on the suit.
The two players have not commented publicly about their children.
The lawsuit alleges that “the Sun News’s publication of the false and defamful article caused substantial harm to Plaintiff and to the NFLPA.”
It says the defendants had been seeking a preliminary injunction to stop publication of an article about the players that was published by a local newspaper.
“Plaintiffs’ and the league’s attorneys are now seeking a permanent injunction to prevent Defendants from publishing the article,” the lawsuit says.
Sun News spokeswoman Natalie McGlone said in a statement that the paper “was unable to verify or comment on any of the allegations in the lawsuit.
The Sun News does not comment on pending litigation.”