Former “60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan has filed a $25 million defamation suit against New York Media and writer Joe Hagan for a story that ran in New York magazine in 2014 titled “Benghazi and the Bombshell.”
The story concerned a report by Logan in 2013 on “60 Minutes” about the 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans were killed in the attack, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
The report was retracted one month after it aired after it was determined that a key interview in the story included false information.
“The headline reference to ‘Bombshell’ was both sexist, insulting and defamatory at the same time,” Logan’s lawsuit states. It refers to the story as the “Hagan Hit Piece.”
The lawsuit contends that the story ended up costing Logan financially and that it portrayed her in a misleading light.
“The word was intended to portray Logan as a dangerous and untouchable and incendiary reporter,” the lawsuit states.
Logan also charges that Hagan’s piece included several false statements. Hagan referred to a “groping” of Logan while the reporter was on assignment in Egypt; Logan said she was the victim of a gang rape.
Logan’s report included an interview with British security contractor Dylan Davies, who provided misleading statements about his actions on the night of the attack on Sept. 11, 2012. Davies’s book, “The Embassy House,” had provided the same false account of his actions during the attack. Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CBS Corp., recalled the book as a result.
Weeks after the story aired, Logan apologized publicly on “CBS This Morning” for the “mistake” regarding Davies’s account being included in the piece, but noted that the essential parts of the report remained true.
Hagan’s story that ran seven months after the story’s original airing came as Logan was rebuilding her reputation internally at “60 Minutes.”
“The plan for Logan’s return to ‘60 Minutes’ was entirely and completely derailed after publication of the Hagan Hit Piece,” the suit claims.
Logan’s compensation at the time the Hagan piece ran was $2.15 million. Her next contract was reduced to $750,000 as only a part-time correspondent.
“But for the Hagan Hit Piece, Logan would have earned more than $2,150,000 per year as a ’60 Minutes’ correspondent,” the suit claims. “She was young and extremely talented. She expected to work for CBS indefinitely.”
Hagan has since moved to Vanity Fair, but New York Media says it is standing by the story.
“The New York Magazine article was thoroughly vetted and fact-checked, and we stand by our reporting,” a New York Media spokeswoman said in a statement provided to The Hill on Friday.
The Hill has reached out to Hagan for comment.
Logan, 48, recently signed with Fox News’s streaming service, Fox Nation, to host a docu-series that will include her reporting “from the front lines of America’s political and ideological war zones and dive into a number of hot-button issues with on-the-ground coverage and expert interviews,” according to a network announcement in November.