Former Manager Sues ‘Out’ For $100M

Danny Fields, one-time manager of The Ramones, Iggy & the Stooges and the MC5, filed a $100 million defamation lawsuit against LPI Media and Planetout Inc. for a quote attributed to him in Out Magazine, a popular gay men’s lifestyle magazine that Planetout Inc. operates.

The August 31st lawsuit states that the word-for-word quote attributed to Fields, who has also worked as a music business journalist, is wrongful and malicious, as well as "personally embarrassing and professionally humiliating."

Fields agreed to the interview with the magazine but claims never to have made the particular quote to anyone at any time. The quote appears in an article titled, "They Say If You Remember the ’70s, Then You Weren’t There" by Michael Musto, which was published in or around October 2006.

Next to a photograph of Fields, a separate, highlighted panel includes the quote, "The ’70s was sure a lot of fun, but I was sure a lot of young. Boy, if you didn’t get laid, then it was your own fault. I don’t remember ever being inhibited by saying ‘I’m the manager of that band, If you want to meet them, come to my hotel room and sleep with me, and I’ll introduce you to them in the morning,’" according the suit.

Fields disputed the quote in an interview with the New York Post, which noted that Fields is openly gay.

"My reputation is ruined because Out has called me virtually a sexual predator. It is atrocious," Fields said. "I never said that. The implication is while my bands were playing, I was trawling the audience for kids … like I used the performances as an excuse to cruise and pick up underage teens. … They gay-bashed me."

The lawsuit notes that because Fields attended Harvard and NYU pursuing a master’s degree in English and was a professional copy editor, in addition to his years as a music business journalist and other accomplishments, "Not only is the statement outrageous as to its content but it is illiterate and confusing in its grammar, which adds further insult to Plaintiff’s injury among his peers."

The quoted material falsely implies immoral conduct or sexual impropriety and therefore is "libelous ‘per se’" and that because of it, Fields has "been held up to public scorn and ridicule; has suffered great mental pain and anguish; and has had his reputation impugned and discredited," according to the lawsuit.

Many of Fields’ friends, acquaintances and professional colleagues stumbled across the quote and because of it, he became the subject of gossip and innuendo in the music community, according to the lawsuit.

The actions of the defendants caused Fields to "suffer continuing emotional and mental suffering and distress, and sleeplessness and aggravation, all of which have caused plaintiff to become physically debilitated and unable to maintain consistent employment."

Fields’ counsel requested a copy of whatever recording was presumably made of the quote in addition to a correction and/or apology and a monetary settlement, none of which has been received.

Also, it is noted that Fields demands to be paid for the use of his name, image and the interview for the article, which the lawsuit says are "reasonably believed to be worth $365,000, which sum the defendants have failed and refused to pay."

Damages caused by the publication of the quote are "reasonably believed to be in excess of $100 million."

Fields told the Post that when he and his lawyer asked Out’s editor-in-chief Aaron Hicklin for a tape of the interview, "he said he couldn’t find it – but he said he knows that’s what I said." Fields added that Out offered him a "few thousand dollars and the chance to defend myself in the magazine in 75 words."