Boston guitarist Tom Scholz has had his defamation lawsuit against the former wife of late singer Brad Delp thrown out by the highest court in Massachusetts.
Scholz sued the Boston Herald and Micki Delp after the newspaper printed articles in which she made remarks which Scholz claimed could be construed as blaming him for Delp’s suicide in 2007.
A judge dismissed the lawsuit against the singer’s ex in 2011 but it was reinstated by the Massachusetts Appeals Court. A different judge dismissed Scholz’s lawsuit against the paper.
In articles printed by the Boston Herald, Delp said her former husband had been upset over bad feelings from the band’s breakup more than 20 years previously, and that he felt caught between Scholz and the rest of the group.
The Supreme Judicial Court found that Delp’s statements were her opinions, so they couldn’t form the basis of a claim of defamation.
According to WCVB, the court report says: “The statements at issue could not have been understood by a reasonable reader to have been anything but opinions regarding the reason Brad committed suicide.”
A statement from Scholz’s publicist reads: “Mr Scholz believes this decision will have adverse consequences well beyond his case against the Herald because it regrettably means that people are largely free to accuse another of causing someone’s suicide, even when, as here, the accusation is false.
“In the end, Mr Scholz remains saddened by the loss of his friend and bandmate, Brad Delp.”
Delp died in March 2007 when he deliberately killed himself by carbon monoxide poisoning.