"Things are getting a little rugged out there on the frontiers of digital journalism," said David Carr in The New York Times. Grey's Anatomy star Eric Dane and his wife, actress Rebecca Gayheart, are suing the gossip site Gawker for posting a video showing them "lounging about in various states of undress and apparent inebriation with former beauty queen Kari Ann Peniche." Gawker has been sued before, but Dane and Gayheart have hired a "legendarily pugnacious" lawyer, Marty Singer, who usually takes on MSM giants, so this "could raise the threat level."
Clearly, Dane -- known as Grey's "Dr. McSteamy" -- and Gayheart "are still steamed about their non-sex tape being leaked," said Access Hollywood via MSNBC. According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, the couple claims Gawker "refused to comply with a cease and desist request after first posting the video and then 'went on to maliciously distribute an uncensored copy of the video, gratuitously including nude shots'" on its sister site, Defamer.com. Now, the lawsuit says, the 4acy 12-minute video from 2007 is available on numerous adult sites.
Gawker chief Nick Denton had an interesting response, via Twitter, said Amanda Ernst in Mediabistro. He tweeted: "To quote the great Marty Singer -- Eric Dane's lawyer -- if you don't want a sex tape on the internet, 'don't make one!'" Normally, "thanks to a little something called the First Amendment," journalists don't fear lawsuits. The questions is, does the Eric Dane-Rebecca Gayheart-Kari Ann Peniche tape "fall under freedom of the press, or can it be seen as malicious?"