An Illinois appeals court last week ruled that a local CBS Affiliate did not defame former NBC reporter Amy Jacobson when it aired a videotape of her swimming with Craig Stebic, the husband of a missing woman, which Jacobson argued implied that she was having an affair with the man, Courthouse News Service reported.
Lisa Stebic disappeared in April 2007, and her husband was named as a person of interest by local police.
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Amy Jacobson, then a reporter for Chicago’s NBC station WMAQ, visited the Stebics’ home with her children on the day before the start of a community-wide search for Lisa Stebic, to discuss her disappearance.
That same day, CBS reporter Michael Puccinelli also arrived, fishing for an interview, and videotaped the Stebics’ backyard from a neighbor’s house. The videotape aired on CBS, showing Craig Stebic, his inlaws, the children, and reporter Jacobson—in a bikini around the swimming pool.
NBC fired Jacobson and she later filed a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against CBS for destroying her career. She said the tape made it appear as if she were “an adulteress and unethical reporter.” She lost the case and now an Illinois appeals court found for CBS, ruling that Jacobson was a public figure and that CBS did not act with malice by airing the video of her in a bikini with a suspect in the disappearance case.
These days Jacobson, a GOP activist, works as morning co-host with John Howell on Salem Communications news/talk WIND AM 560.