Skip to main content

Scholz loses court case over Delp death claims

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.

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.