Congressman Charles Boustany has filed a lawsuit against author Ethan Brown and publisher Simon and Schuster after a recently released book claims Boustany had relationships with prostitutes in Jefferson Davis Parish. Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino says this will be an uphill battle, because it’s hard to prove Brown wrote these allegations with actual malice.

“If he can prove it was published with statements that were false and the publisher knew that the statements were false then it’s possible that he could prevail with libel or defamation.”

The book, “Murder in the Bayou” claims Boustany frequented a Jennings motel, the Boudreaux Inn, looking for prostitutes. Ciolino says it’s very difficult to prove an author intentionally lied. He says very few public officials succeed in libel or defamation lawsuits.

“To establish this claim would be to show that there were serious doubts about the truth or falsity of these allegations and the publisher recklessly disregarded those serious questions about the truth or falsity.”

Boustany is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by David Vitter. Ciolino says by filing this lawsuit, it shows Boustany is serious about putting these allegations to bed. He says there is no way this will be resolved before the November 8th election, but it makes a statement.

“It certainly tees the issue of the truth or falsity of the allegations up for resolution, as well as, the culpability of the publisher.”

Brown says he stands by what he wrote in his book.

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