Journalist sued for accusing businessman of sexual abuse

A #MeToo case in Estonia went terribly wrong when journalist Katrin Lust ended up getting sued for "reputation damage".

Marian Männi
Marian Männi Eesti Ekspress, Estonia
Source: Eesti Ekspress
Journalist sued for accusing businessman of sexual abuse - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

All over the Western world women and men are coming out with stories of sexual misconduct. Sometimes the alleged harassers escape justice and disappear from the public eye.

But in Estonia, it has gone the other way around.

An Estonian journalist, Katrin Lust, interviewed young women involved with the 72-year-old Isreali-British businessman Iraj Zand. During these interviews, she uncovered a scandal involving prostitution and abuse. One of her sources, an ex-model and weather anchor, described how she was drugged and found herself on Zand's bed naked the next morning.

Zand sued Lust for a million euros, claiming that she damaged his reputation, and that all the accusations are lies. The woman in question followed by publishing an announcement saying that Zand had never drugged nor raped her, and claiming that she had been manipulated by the journalist.

Zand has threatened to take the case to the American court too. As well as suing the journalist, he is also suing the TV station.

This one story could cost Lust all of her life savings.

Details from the story:

  • Iraj Zand was born in Israel, has British citizenship, and mostly lives in Switzerland and the UK.
  • He has made his money in the real estate business.
  • Zand sued Katrin Lust, an Estonian journalist working for the entertaining TV show with investigative elements "Kuuuurija", for damaging his image.
  • Zand claims that Lust presented many false facts in her TV story.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

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