Shmarya Rosenberg (Failed Messiah) succinctly lays out the case for Sam Kellner to sue the the Forward for libeling him in insinuating he was an extortionist. However, the criminal case against Kellner was brought by the Brooklyn DA under Charles (Joe) Hynes and Michael Vecchione at the behest of the family and attorneys of the notorious alleged molester, Baruch (Mordechai), to interfere with his prosecution. Under the new Brooklyn DA, Kenneth Thompson, the charges were dropped because none of the potential witnesses against Kellner were credible.
There are some strong clues to that the Forward senses its legal vulnerability. Unusually, they posted in its entirety, a powerful rejoinder to their shoddy stories about Kellner which was quite insulting to the Forward. Kellner’s attorney, Niall MacGiollabhui, wrote:
Ultimately, however, my reason for writing this letter is not to point out that Mr. Berger is a lazy, shoddy, dishonest journalist. Nor that he is a cheerleader for an alleged pedophile. Although Mr. Berger pompously states that he does not want to be the reporter “who undermines the prosecution of a sexual abuser,” happily there is no such danger based on his article. No doubt, he was regarded by the Lebovits family as a useful idiot by which to advance their cause. Happily, they were only half-right.
Moreover, Paul Berger, who swaggered his way into the outrageous allegations against Kellner, has gone silent. He simply does not reply to comments or Tweets in any way related to the article. Either he has suddenly gone shy or he is being silent on the advice of lawyers.
PS – This story is a big deal to me because I tried to head off the libelous Forward article with a post. When they published it and were criticized, Berger blamed me for his shoddy failure to get the defendant’s side.
For more about this story, search the Frum Follies site for the terms, Kellner, Baruch Lebovits, Paul Berger, Dershowitz, Aidala, Hynes, Vecchione.