Kings’ Richaun Holmes retains Johnny Depp’s attorney in defamation lawsuit
Sacramento Kings forward Richaun Holmes has retained attorney Camille Vasquez — who famously represented Johnny Depp in his lawsuit against Amber Heard — for his defamation case.
Holmes sued the Sacramento Bee’s parent company, the EmClatchy Company, for defamation in connection with articles in the outlet based on allegations of domestic and child abuse by opinion writer Robin Epley and his ex-wife Alexis.
Alexis and Richaun divorced in 2019.
Vasquez brings a wealth of experience to the case.
Depp was awarded a $10.35 million settlement in June for her defamation case after it argued that claims of domestic abuse in a Washington Post op-ed were defamatory.
Heard appealed for a new trial in December, arguing that he received an unfair verdict against him.
According to the 28-page lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday in Sacramento Superior Court, Alexis was in a custody battle with Richaun over their son last year, and Richaun claims Alexis “escalated” the fight by saying “Trying to turn”. She and their son were abused.
The lawsuit accuses the publication and Apple, which is a 2019 Pulitzer Prize finalist. Chico Enterprise-Record’s coverage of the campfire“Clinging to a false narrative, and cashing in on it, is entrenched in harmful racial stereotypes, in the face of evidence that their chosen narrative was simply false.”
It adds that Epley “amplified and supported” Alexis’ alleged claims despite substantial evidence against the ex-wife’s credibility, such as publicly available court filings and orders refuting the claims made.
The suit was filed “for damage to his reputation”; Damage to his personal brand, and goodwill in the community as a player for the Kings and the NBA in general.
“These actions were a coordinated and malicious effort to deliberately defame Mr. Holmes – a devoted father, son, and teammate. The Sacramento Bee, Epley, and Ms. Holmes are committed to rebuilding the damage that has been done to Mr. Holmes. will pursue all available remedies,” Vasquez said in a statement. “Despite publicly available court decisions disproving each of these allegations, this narrative has had a lasting impact on Mr. Holmes’ life and career. will have Mr. Holmes will continue to be the wonderful father, player, and community member that he has always been, and we look forward to the resolution of this matter.
Public figures face high legal hoops to win defamation claims against news organizations.
There must be sufficient evidence that the outlet acted with “actual malice,” meaning the publication either had no regard for the truth or intentionally published false information to the public.
Alexis Holmes learned of the lawsuit Thursday and is standing by her claims, saying, “I know the truth, and so does she,” she said. “I can’t wait for our first date at court.”
McClatchy, Epley, nor Kings have commented on the lawsuit.
The series of columns and articles came between March and May 2022 after Holmes missed the rest of the Kings’ season on news of the alleged lawsuit.
Richaun Holmes was granted custody of his son by Los Angeles Superior Court in April and is “now thriving and healthy,” the lawsuit states.
This season, Holmes has played in just 34 total games and appears to be an afterthought in the Kings’ rotation, averaging just 8.7 minutes and 3.2 points per game.