A judge Thursday dismissed most of the defendants in a lawsuit brought by one of five women who sued “iZombie” actor Robert Knepper and the other parties for defamation, but the actor will remain in the case.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Mooney agreed that the defamation claim infringed on the Knepper co-defendants’ free-speech rights. He scheduled trial on the part of plaintiff Susan Bertram’s case against Knepper for Sept. 23.
Bertram is a costume supervisor who has worked in Hollywood for almost 30 years. She sued the 59-year-old Knepper in Los Angeles Superior Court on Feb. 28, alleging he made defamatory statements that the plaintiff falsely accused him of assaulting her.
“In fact, plaintiff’s statements were true and accurate,’ the suit states. “Robert Knepper attacked and sexually assaulted plaintiff.”
The other parties, including Link Entertainment LLC, Zero Gravity Management and East 2 West Collective, were later added as defendants. But lawyers for the non-Knepper parties filed a motion to dismiss Bertram’s defamation claim against their clients, arguing that the accusations by various women against Knepper were a matter of public interest.
“Indeed, plaintiff admits in her complaint that she went to the press for the express purpose of creating such publicity,” the attorneys stated in their court papers.
In addition, the Knepper co-defendants had nothing to do with the actor’s allegedly defamatory remarks, according to the lawyers’ court papers.
“Most did not even have a relationship with Knepper during the time frame in question,” the attorneys stated in their court papers.
Bertram’s attorneys maintained in their court papers that the Knepper co-defendants included publicists and agents who had worked with the actor.
Knepper also played the role of Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell on the Fox show “Prison Break.”
Bertram’s first allegation against Knepper occurred in 1991, when she alleges the actor assaulted her during filming of the film “Gas Food Lodging.”
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