Michael Clearned in Slander Suit

LA officer loses $10 million claim against singer

February 17, 2000 12:00 AM ET

It looks like George Michael's luck has started to change for the better. The $10 million lawsuit filed against the singer by former Los Angeles police officer Marcelo Rodriguez was dismissed by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Monday.

Rodriguez arrested the singer in a Beverly Hills public lavatory on April 7, 1998 for "public lewdness." (For which Michael was ultimately fined $810, and ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.) Shortly after the incident, Michael shot back with the video for "Outside," which was set in a public restroom and featured dancing men in leather and police officers kissing.

Rodriguez alleged that Michael profited at his expense and that the song and video caused him "great mental and physical pain"; last September he filed suit against the beleaguered singer.

But a Los Angeles judge tossed out the case, stating that the former cop was not entitled to recover damages for an alleged emotional distress, because at the time of the arrest, he was a public official. A spokesperson for the singer said, "The court ruled that the lawsuit failed to state any actionable claim against Mr. Michael. The ruling completely vindicates Mr. Michael and his works." The court suggested that Rodriguez's lawyer refile the lawsuit by February 22, if he could provide additional support for his claims.

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