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FORMER AMERICAN EXPRESS EXECUTIVE SUES WALL STREET JOURNAL PUBLISHER AND REPORTER FOR $50 MILLION OF DAMAGES FOR DEFAMATION

FORMER AMERICAN EXPRESS EXECUTIVE SUES WALL STREET JOURNAL PUBLISHER
 AND REPORTER FOR $50 MILLION OF DAMAGES FOR DEFAMATION
 NEW YORK, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Harry L. Freeman, a former American Express Company executive vice president who reported directly to its chairman and CEO, James D. Robinson III, today filed a $50 million suit in the Federal District Court in New York City against Dow Jones & Company (NYSE: DJ), publisher of The Wall Street Journal and a Journal reporter, Bryan Burrough.
 Freeman charges that a Wall Street Journal article published on Sept. 24, 1990, in which he figured prominently, defamed him by falsely accusing him of running a "smear" campaign against Edmond Safra, an international banker. The suit further charges that the article created a false characterization of Freeman which has severely damaged his reputation and business interests. Stated Freeman, "Quite simply, Burrough created a fictional character and called him 'Harry Freeman,' apparently to make his story more sensational."
 The suit asks the court for $10 million of compensatory damages and $40 million of punitive damages. Freeman said that any punitive damages would go to the Joan Shorenstein Barone Center for the Study of Media at Harvard University.
 Freeman, who has a small consulting firm in Washington specializing in international trade matters, was with American Express Company for 15 years and retired from the company in January of 1990. Prior to that, Freeman -- a graduate of Harvard Law School -- practiced law in San Francisco for 10 years, served in foreign economic positions in three administrations in Washington, as well as ran the financial services unit of Bechtel in San Francisco.
 In filing the suit, Freeman stated: "The Wall Street Journal, while recognized as the daily business 'bible' in the U.S. and abroad, has clearly strayed from responsible journalism as evidenced by this article. It recklessly and falsely trashed me in the pursuit of crass commercialism and has abandoned the basic principles of responsible reporting. I also don't believe it was an accident that this proved to be the single longest article in the newspaper's history. It represented a concerted effort by the publication and its editorial staff to obtain a lucrative book contract -- at the expense of the t?s."
 Continued Freeman, "Unfortunately, I don't think my experience is unique, particularly when you examine the front-page, right hand column of The Wall Street Journal over the past few years. The point in bringing the suit is twofold. First, I fully intend to clear my name. Second, someone should stand up to The Wall Street Journal and say 'no more' and put some teeth behind it."
 Freeman is represented by John J. Walsh, Esq. of the New York City office of the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.
 -0- 3/31/92
 /CONTACT: Paul D. Feldman of Feldman and Associates, 301-770-9254, for Harry L. Freeman/
 (DJ) CO: Dow Jones & Company.; Wall Street Journal ST: New York IN: PUB SU:


DC -- DC009 -- 3334 03/31/92 10:41 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 31, 1992
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