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Judge rules defamation case against Mariah Carey can move forward

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Mariah Carey may soon have to take the witness stand and testify against her brother, Morgan Carey, who claims that his famous sister defamed him in her best-selling memoir.  He first filed his case in March 2021, claiming his sister was spreading “malicious falsehoods” that caused “serious damage to his reputation.”

According to court documents obtained by ABC News, Justice Barbara Jaffe of New York ruled that Mariah could be sued for defamation over two passages in The Meaning of Mariah Carey.  The Grammy winner had stated that Morgan, who is 10 years her senior, had a criminal past and sold narcotics.  

“Although Carey maintains that the phrase ‘sometimes drug dealing’ is a ‘rhetorical epithet,’ in light of the earlier statement that plaintiff had supplied clubgoers with ‘powdered party favors,’ the average reader could understand this phrase to mean that plaintiff had committed a serious crime,” Jaffe ruled on Wednesday.

While the judge ruled that Morgan can sue to hold his sister liable, Jaffe rejected his request to also name Macmillan Publishing Group, the book’s publisher, as a defendant.  The judge wrote, “Evidence that Carey was a difficult person does not demonstrate that publisher defendants entertained or should have entertained doubts about the veracity of her statements at the time of publication.”

Morgan will have to refile a new complaint against Mariah, as his original case singled out eight passages.  Jaffe rejected six of those passages, saying they didn’t meet the standards of defamation, but said the sections about Morgan’s alleged drug dealing did satisfy the requirements.

Once Morgan refiles, his case can then proceed to trial. 

That isn’t the only legal battle Mariah is potentially facing over her memoir.  Her sister, Alison, similarly filed suit over certain passages in the book.

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