A federal judge in Texas dismissed defamation charges against Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones as it pertains to his involvement in an ongoing paternity lawsuit.
In March 2022, Alexandra Davis sought legal recognition that Jones was her biological father and that the billionaire had paid her $375,000 and set up two trusts in exchange for her silence on the topic. A Texas judge issued an order for Jones to submit to a paternity test, which has since been delayed.
In March 2023, Davis filed a defamation lawsuit against Jones, his personal attorney Don Jack, and communications consultant Jim Wilkinson, alleging that the trio launched a campaign to portray her as “an ‘extortionist’ and a ‘shakedown artist’” based on “false statements and accusations.”
On Tuesday, Judge Robert W. Schroeder III threw out some of the case, ruling that statements made about Davis in one of two ESPN stories about the case were either true or not defamatory. Davis was also ruled as a “limited public figure” and did not meet the legal requirement of proving actual malice.
However, Schroeder is allowing Davis and her lawyers to amend their complaint about the second ESPN story and argue that statements made about Davis therein would qualify for actual malice.
Davis’ attorney Andrew Bergman said that he and his client would be amending their pleading and would refile before the 21-day deadline.