Former CBS Reporter Sues New York Magazine Over ‘Scandalous, Sexist’ Article That Derailed Her Career

December 21, 2019 Updated: December 22, 2019
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Lara Logan, a former correspondent for CBS’s “60 Minutes” has filed a $25 million defamation suit against New York Media and writer Joe Hagan over a story they published in New York magazine in 2014 which she claims “derailed” her career.

The 6,000-word article in New York magazine concerned a 2013 report by Logan on “60 minutes” about an attack on a U.S. government diplomatic compound in 2012 in Libya, which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

CBS later retracted Logan’s story after it emerged that a source who claimed to have been at the Libyan embassy when the attack occurred, a British security contractor named Dylan Davies, had given false information.

Weeks after the story had aired, Logan publicly apologized on “CBS This Morning” for the “mistake” regarding Davies’s account but noted that key parts of the story remained true.

However, the following year, journalist Hagan wrote about the case for New York magazine, in an article titled “Benghazi and the Bombshell,” in which he questioned whether CBS would keep Logan as a correspondent and made repeated “sexual” references to her looks.

Logan, who is now a staff writer for Vanity Fair, filed the 46-page lawsuit in federal court Austin, Texas, last week.

In it, Logan, who was born in Durban, South Africa, is described as “one of the most experienced and accomplished correspondents in history” and her “investigative skills and reporting are exemplary.”

The lawsuit goes on to claim that Hagan and NY Media “knowingly and recklessly injured” her reputation with a “scandalous article” that “viciously disparaged Logan and severely impugned her skills as an investigative journalist.”

It maintains that Hagan’s article caused her to be “ostracized by colleagues and friends, by her employer, CBS News, Inc., and by its parent, CBS Corporation.”

Lara Logan
Honoree Lara Logan accepts award onstage during the 42nd Annual Gracie Awards, hosted by The Alliance for Women in Media at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on June 6, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Alliance for Women in Media)

The suit also claims that the article made light of the “egregious rape and horrific sexual assaults Logan endured” while on assignment for “60 Minutes” in Egypt in February 2011. Logan suffered a brutal gang-rape by a mob of men, which Hagan characterized as a “groping.”

The lawsuit refers to Hagan’s article as “disgraceful, click-bait, sensationalist, egregious misstatements simply to sell magazines,” and claims the magazine and Hagan “had an axe to grind against CBS and its former Chairman and CEO, Leslie Moonves,” who resigned in 2018 amid sexual harassment allegations.

“The headline reference to ‘Bombshell’ was both sexist, insulting, and defamatory at the same time,” the suit states, claiming that “the word was intended to portray Logan as a dangerous and untouchable and incendiary reporter.”

Furthermore, the lawsuit, which refers to the story as the “Hagan Hit Piece,” suggests that the article ultimately led to Logan’s diminished role and eventual departure from “60 Minutes.”

Logan claims she would have earned more in subsequent years if it were not for Hagan’s story and the reaction to it by CBS, which resulted in her becoming a part-time correspondent and her contract being reduced to $750,000.

“But for the Hagan Hit Piece, Logan would have earned more than $2,150,000 per year as a ’60 Minutes’ correspondent,” the lawsuit claims.

“She was young and extremely talented. She expected to work for CBS indefinitely,” it adds.

Meanwhile, New York Media says it is standing by the story, with a spokeswoman telling The Hill that the article was “thoroughly vetted and fact-checked, and we stand by our reporting.”

Correction: A previous version of this article, in one instance, used the wrong name for the person who filed the lawsuit. It was Lara Logan who filed the suit. The Epoch Times regrets the error.