Rabbi Leo Dee is considering suing CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour for $1.3 billion after she on May 11 described the murders of his wife and daughters as a “shootout” even though they were killed when a terrorist sprayed their car with bullets.
Dee announced the possibility of taking legal action during an event on Monday held by Rabbi Shmuel Boteach, a popular American Orthodox rabbi, which was broadcast on Facebook.
Dee noted that Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News and its parent company Fox Corp. in a defamation suit for $1.3 billion (the actual number was $1.6 billion but Dee, who is originally from London, may have meant £1.3 billion). Dominion was awarded $787 million in a settlement on April 18.
Dee said CNN‘s defamation of his family was worse than Fox’s defamation of Dominion.
At an event hosted by @RabbiShmuley tonight, Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife and two daughters died in a terrorist attack in Israel in April, says he’s considering $1.3B lawsuit against CNN’s @amanpour for refusing to apologize on air for saying the victims were “killed in a shootout.” pic.twitter.com/5ShWLXSFEo
— Jacob N. Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) May 22, 2023
Boteach said that he was authorized to say publicly by Benjamin Brafman, a noted U.S. criminal defense attorney, that the lawyer would be prepared to serve as Dee’s co-counsel.
While Dee had received a personal apology from Amanpour, he refused to accept it, demanding a public apology.
She did so on Tuesday.
“And just a note,” Christiane Amanpour, CNN chief international anchor, said, 22 minutes and 50 seconds into her May 22 show “Amanpour.”
“On April 10th, I referred to the murders of a British-Israeli family, Lucy Dee and Maia and Rina Dee, the wife and daughters of Rabbi Leo Dee. During that live interview, I misspoke and said that they were killed in a ‘shootout’ instead of a ‘shooting.’ I have written to Rabbi Dee to apologize and make sure that he knows that we apologize for any further pain that may have caused him,” Amanpour said.
Why Amanpour said “that may have caused him” rather than simply “that it caused him” in unclear.
If this were exceptional for @amanpour, I’d accept that she “misspoke.” But it’s not exceptional, it’s par for the course, and her tone and body language are anything but apologetic. This speaks for itself. If @CNN calls this acceptable, then CNN is not. https://t.co/AZqIh17vML
— Rabbi Yaakov Menken (@ymenken) May 22, 2023
Boteach told JNS that Amanpour was “forced to capitulate and retract” her and CNN’s “nauseating lie” less than 24 hours after Dee announced that he planned to sue CNN for $1.3 billion “for defaming and desecrating the memory of his martyred wife and two daughters.
“The lesson here is that the Jewish community must never again allow the defamation of its good name and character,” Boteach said.
“Let all our enemies know that this is just the first of many actions we will be taking to ensure that the Jewish people and the State of Israel will never again [be] defamed. Antisemites beware.”
HonestReporting called the correction a “success,” noting that it publicly called for Amanpour to issue the correction on May 11.
“Upon seeing our exposé, Lucy’s widower, Rabbi Leo Dee, issued a statement exclusively to HonestReporting, echoing our call for an immediate apology. That tweet has racked up a further 137,000 views, indicating significant public outrage at Amanpour and CNN,” HonestReporting stated.
On April 7, Lucy Dee, 48, was driving two of her daughters, Maia, 20, and Rina, 15, for a family Passover trip. Rabbi Dee drove ahead in another car with their other children. They were driving through the Jordan Valley on their way to Tiberias.
A terrorist opened fire on the car driven by Lucy Dee. Twenty-two bullet casings were found shot by a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Maia and Rina died at the scene. Lucy died in the hospital three days later.
Israeli forces killed the Palestinian terrorists involved on May 4 in Nablus (biblical Shechem).
Update: Alan Dershowitz will be taking on the case: