Arnie's aide loses fight to stop case

Sean Walsh, a political consultant who worked for Californian
governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has lost his fight to stop a libel case
against him going ahead in the British courts.

Two High Court
judges have refused him the right to appeal an earlier ruling which
rejected his claim that he couldn’t be sued by a British journalist
because he had been acting as a political spokesman.

The libel
claim arose after Walsh, a consultant in Schwarzenegger’s successful
campaign to become governor of California in 2003, issued a denial
following claims that Schwarzenegger had groped women.

The groping claims included an allegation from British reporter Anna Richardson.

In
the on-going libel action, Richardson is suing, alleging that the words
spoken by Walsh and published by the Los Angeles Times bore the meaning
that she was lying about her allegations of sexual assault, and trying
to damage Schwarzenegger’s political ambitions.

She is not suing the newspaper.

She
argues that the words printed in an article on 2 October 2003 headlined
“Women say Schwarzenegger groped, humiliated them” were made available
in the UK in copies of the Los Angeles Times published here, and via
the internet.

The judges also ruled that the UK courts were an
appropriate venue for the case as Richardson was a British citizen,
complaining about an article that had been published here, and which
she says has damaged her reputation in this country.

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