New York, Dec.31 (ANI): Washington lobbyist Vikki Iseman is suing the New York Times for 27 million dollars for publishing an explosive story last February that suggested a romantic link between him and Senator John McCain in 1999.
Long Island Business News reports that "the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond on Tuesday, alleges the article falsely communicated that Iseman and McCain had an illicit 'romantic' relationship in 1999 when he was chair of the Senate Commerce Committee and she was a lobbyist representing clients before Congress."
Both McCain and Iseman denied any romantic relationship.
Also named in the 36-page suit as defendants are executive editor Bill Keller, Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet, and reporters Jim Rutenberg, David Kirkpatrick, Stephen Labaton and Marilyn Thompson (who's since joined the Washington Post).
Suing for defamation, Iseman is said to have suffered mentally, emotionally, and in her health. She still works as a lobbyist.
Times reporters worked on the controversial lobbyist piece for months, and it was held up several times in the editorial process, as reported by the New Republic.
In the end, The Times never proved there was any romantic involvement, and the piece received ample criticism on the left and right.
The McCain campaign vowed to go to war with the paper, and there was friction between the two sides throughout 2008.
However in a statement, the NYT said: "We fully stand behind the article. We continue to believe it to be true and accurate, and that we will prevail. As we said at the time, it was an important piece that raised questions about a presidential contender and the perception that he had been engaged in conflicts of interest." (ANI)