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Fri August 17, 2012
Former assistant AG ordered to pay millions in defamation case
DETROIT, MI (AP)-- A jury has awarded a gay University of Michigan student body president $4.5 million in his lawsuit against a former Michigan assistant attorney general who posted about him in an anti-gay blog.
Christopher Armstrong's attorney Deborah Gordon says a jury in U.S. District Court ruled in favor of her client Thursday.
Armstrong accused Andrew Shirvell of defamation and causing him emotional distress on an anti-gay blog, in Facebook posts and during visits to the Ann Arbor campus.
Then-Attorney General Mike Cox fired Shirvell in 2010 after he criticized Armstrong. Shirvell says he was acting within his First Amendment rights and that his statements were either true or protected because of Armstrong's role as a public figure.
Armstrong had offered to drop the lawsuit if Shirvell apologized.