Judge Dismisses Dr. Laura Schlessinger Suit Against Beach Access Owner

A judge Wednesday dismissed a $1 million slander suit brought in July by radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger against a surf shop owner she accused of calling her a liar, his attorney said.

Schlessinger had said Tom Moore, the owner of Beach Access, tarnished her reputation when he publicly denied her on-air allegations that he provided pornographic materials to children who patronize his store in Costa Mesa, south of Los Angeles.

But an Orange County Superior Court judge dismissed her suit under a state law designed to protect individuals from frivolous suits. The judge’s ruling left in place a defamation suit Moore filed against Schlessinger.

The dispute grew out of a July visit Schlessinger and her son made to the surf shop, where she saw a copy of a skateboarding magazine set out as free reading material. She said the magazine contained pornography and confronted the store’s manager. He denied that it did. The next day she denounced the shop on her radio program.

“Dr. Laura is understandably disappointed in the decision, but apart from that, she has no further comment,” said Allan Mayer, a spokesman for the radio therapist.

“Her biggest stock and trade is her credibility,” Mayer said, adding that calling her a liar is “a pretty big accusation, so she sued to protect her reputation.”

Paul Rafferty, the lawyer representing the surf shop owner, said “When false and injurious statements are made about you on the radio, it is fair to set the record straight and deny those statements without being attacked by the originator.”

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