Photo via Shutterstock
Photo via Shutterstock

A judge Tuesday heard arguments on whether actor James Woods’ defamation case against an anonymous Twitter user should be dismissed on free-speech grounds, but he did not immediately rule.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana said he would issue a decision later, but did not specify when.

Woods filed suit against the defendant, identified in the complaint both as “AL” and “John Doe,” last July 29. The actor says allegations by the defendant that he uses cocaine and is a sex offender are false and have hurt his reputation built during a 45-year Hollywood career.

James Woods. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

“I have not now, nor have ever been, a coke fiend or cocaine addict,” the Oscar-nominated actor says in a sworn declaration. “In fact, I have never done cocaine. I am also not, and have never been, a registered sex offender.”

Woods says the false statements have “jeopardized my good name and reputation on an international scale.”

Attorneys for AL filed a motion to dismiss the case, stating in their court papers that Woods’ lawsuit is “a petulant abuse of the judicial system to punish and suppress speech that upsets him.”     Defense attorneys further argue that Woods has publicly insulted others, yet believes his “wealth and celebrity” should shield him from having the same done to him.

“Mr. Woods is wrong,” defense attorneys state in their court papers.

But Woods says AL “stepped over the line” with the cocaine use allegation and that he was “appalled and shocked by AL’s outrageously false statement.”

Woods says he has never spoken with AL and that no media organization or “reputable source” has accused him of the same or similar wrongdoing.

“It appears to me that based on AL’s prior offensive remarks, the sole reason for the false statement was to do me had and in doing such harm, AL had a reckless disregard for the truth,” Woods says.

The 68-year-old actor’s film credits include roles in “Nixon,” “Salvador,” “Casino,” “Once Upon a Time in America” and “The Onion Field.”

— Wire reports 

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