A jury Friday ordered boxer “Sugar” Shane Mosley to pay his ex-wife $75,000 for defaming her in two media interviews in 2015 in which he implied she was a bigamist.
The Los Angeles Superior Court panel deliberated for about a half-day before finding in favor of 41-year-old Jin Mosley.
Outside the courtroom, the 45-year-old fighter said he did not defame his former spouse because he spoke the truth when he told the interviewers about a document he obtained that stated Jin Mosley’s divorce from her prior husband was finalized in 2006 and not in 2002 as she claimed. The Mosleys got married in 2002.
“It was true,” Mosley said. “I didn’t lie.”
Although they were not part of his ex-wife’s defamation claims, the fighter reiterated that tweets disparaging her, which were sent out in his name, were done so by public relations representatives working on his behalf and that he had no role in selecting their content.
“She (his ex-wife) knows that,” Mosley said.
But Jin Mosley said the fighter did put out the statements on Twitter. She also said that she was subjected during trial to even more false statements, including his testimony that she once worked as a stripper.
“Everything they said about me was a lie,” she said.
Her lawyer, Michael Artan, had recommended a seven-figure award as well as an assessment of punitive damages against the boxer. He told reporters the amount of the award was not as important as the principle of the case.
“She’s not a bigamist and the jury cleared her name,” Artan said.
In her lawsuit, which was filed in November 2015, the plaintiff said her divorce from her first husband occurred in 2002 and alleged Mosley defamed her in 2015 by telling a celebrity website videographer, “Man, my so-called wife was married when I was married.”
The encounter with the videographer occurred at the same downtown Los Angeles courthouse where the defamation trial was held.
At the time, the boxer was trying to freeze the assets in his divorce judgment based on a document obtained by his family law attorneys that Jin Mosley’s prior marriage was not finalized until September 2006, according to his current lawyers.
The plaintiff alleged the second defamatory statement involving bigamy occurred later in 2015 when Mosley told a FightHype.com reporter at Los Angeles International Airport, “So we got married in 2002 and she got married to some guy in 1995 and was still married to him when we got married.”
Attorneys for Jin Mosley said their client divorced her first husband in New York in 2002, before she wed Mosley. They said her prior husband inexplicably obtained a second divorce judgment from the plaintiff, this time in 2006 and in another jurisdiction of New York.
Artan told jurors that in addition to the media interviews, Mosley additionally disparaged the plaintiff on Twitter, including one posting that said, “Enjoy the ramen noodles (epithet).” Jin Mosley is of Korean descent.
Mosley’s attorney argued that his client did not defame the plaintiff because the fighter did not say anything false. He had a reasonable belief that the documents showing she was divorced from her first husband in 2006 were accurate and he had the right to answer questions from the media, Little said.
Little said although Jin Mosley did not get her wish that the fighter get a vasectomy as part of their divorce, she still walked away with three of his championship belts and about $6 million in assets.
The Mosleys had three children together. The first two were born before they were married and while Jin Mosley was still wed to her first husband.
—City News Service