Blogger sues city of Myrtle Beach, mayor for defamation
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A local blogger has filed a lawsuit against the city of Myrtle Beach, Mayor Brenda Bethune and others, accusing them of defamation.
According to the lawsuit filed on Wednesday, David Hucks publishes articles that are often critical of the Myrtle Beach City Council, the mayor and the city manager to his blog site MyrtleBeachSC.com and to Facebook.
In May, the city hired defendant Gordon Hirsch as a communications consultant to combat "negative social media attacks," the suit states.
Hucks alleges that Hirsch began a "campaign of defamatory remarks" directed at him, including saying the plaintiff only endorsed political candidates who paid to advertise on his website; sought hush money from his targets so he wouldn't write negative articles about them; and spreads "fake news."
The lawsuit claims Hirsch was acting at the direction of Bethune and the city when the statements were made.
Local restaurant owner Larry Bond was also named in the lawsuit. Hucks accuses him of publishing such statements as the plaintiff tried to extort money from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce through a proposed advertising contract of $1.5 million.
Bethune is accused of saying "there is nothing reputable about [Plaintiff's] kind of journalism," and that Hucks spreads "lies and slander" and "poison," according to the lawsuit.
William Trotter, another defendant named in the lawsuit, is accused of saying Hucks is "the lowest type of humanoid possible," a "disgusting pig," and a "psychotic lunatic."
Hucks is asking for damages in an amount to be determined by the jury.
WMBF News has reached out to city officials for a comment on the lawsuit.
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