Ashley Olsen is suing the National Enquirer for $40 million in damages over a story alleging that she was involved in a drug scandal.
The lawsuit filed in Superior Court Monday alleges libel and false light invasion of privacy by the tabloid. The publication and its parent companies, American Media Inc. and National Enquirer Inc., were named as defendants.
The lawsuit said that while a story in the National Enquirer’s Feb. 21 issue doesn’t refer to her using or selling drugs, it implied that Olsen was doing so with a misleading headline and cover picture depicting the actress with her eyes half-shut.
“Freedom of the press is a valuable right, but it is not a license for gossipy tabloids to tar and feather innocent celebrities and destroy their reputations and businesses for the rags’ profits,” the lawsuit said.
A message left by The Associated Press Wednesday with the National Enquirer in Boca Raton, Fla., wasn’t immediately returned.
“Access Hollywood” said a spokesperson for American Media, in a statement to the syndicated entertainment TV show, said: “We stand by the accuracy of the published information and intend to vigorously defend the lawsuit.”
In addition to $40 million in compensatory damages, the lawsuit seeks unspecified exemplary and punitive damages.
Olsen, 18, most recently starred alongside twin sister, Mary-Kate, in the 2004 comedy “New York Minute.”