Court dismisses Jackson's suit over steroid accusation

Updated: November 2, 2005, 12:08 AM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- A federal judge has dismissed Bo Jackson's defamation lawsuit against a California newspaper, which apologized and retracted part of a story that said the former football and baseball star used steroids.

Judge James B. Moran ruled Oct. 27 that the federal court in Chicago did not have jurisdiction in the lawsuit against the Ontario, Calif.-based Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

Jackson's attorney, Dan Biederman, did not immediately return a telephone call Tuesday from The Associated Press.

Messages left Tuesday evening with the paper and its attorney were not immediately returned.

Jackson, who lives in suburban Chicago, sued in April after finding online a March 24 story from the newspaper that quoted dietary expert Ellen Coleman as saying she knew personally that "Bo Jackson lost his hip because of anabolic abuse." Coleman later denied making the statement.

The only player to be named to the NFL's Pro Bowl and appear in baseball's All-Star game, Jackson injured his hip playing for the Oakland Raiders in 1991 in a playoff game. He had a hip replacement the following year and retired in 1994.

Jackson sued the newspaper, four of its employees, MediaNews Group Inc. and MediaNews Group Interactive, Inc., for unspecified general and punitive damages.

The paper later apologized.

"Jackson has stated publicly he has never used steroids," the newspaper said on its Web site April 10. "We retract the quote and the further statement that the speaker personally witnessed this damage to his life. We apologize to Mr. Jackson, without reservation."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press