Hall of Fame college football coach Lou Holtz has filed a federal defamation lawsuit against The Daily Beast after the news site claimed in a July 2016 article that he called immigrants “deadbeats” at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
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The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Orlando, where Holtz lives, claims an article published by the news website on July 19, 2016, defamed Holtz, causing him to lose paid speaking opportunities and suffer personal humiliation. He's seeking damages of more than $75,000.
The article originally carried the headline "Lou Holtz at RNC Said Immigrants are Deadbeats Invading the US." The suit claims The Daily Beast took Holtz's comments out of context and that he never used the term "deadbeats." After complaints, the website updated its headline to "Holtz Goes on Immigrant-Bashing RNC Rant."
The lawsuit also argues that the updated headline is still misleading and notes that several outlets cited the article in their own stories before the headline was changed.
“Mr. Holtz has the utmost respect for his grandparents and all immigrants who follow the law and find the American dream in this country,” the lawsuit says, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “The substance or gist of Mr. Holtz’s statements was not that all immigrants are ‘deadbeats.’ ”
The Daily Beast also issued a correction stating that Holtz did not use the phrase “deadbeats” to describe immigrants, adding that the site “sincerely [regrets] this error,” according to the Sentinel. As of Wednesday night, the article redirected to a 404 “page not found” message.
A spokesperson for The Daily Beast's parent company said it doesn't comment on pending litigation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.