Defamation Suit Against Bristol Palin and A&E Thrown Out of Court

Bristol Palin at the Saddle Ranch restaurant and saloon while filming “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp.”

A judge has tossed out a defamation lawsuit filed by Stephen Hanks, who heckled Bristol Palin during filming of her reality show. The judge also ordered Hanks to pay her attorneys fees

In the encounter Stephen Hanks yelled derogatory comments to Bristol Palin from across the bar — the Saddle Ranch restaurant and saloon in Hollywood.

“Did you ride Levi like that?”

“You’re mother’s a whore … she’s the devil.”

Bristol Palin walked up to Hanks, and he continued …

“You’re mother’s a f%#ing devil. Yeah, she’s the devil.”

If there is a hell, which I don’t think there is one … she will be there.

Bristol asked if Hanks thought her mother, Sara Palin, was evil because he is a homosexual. He answered affirmatively and replied, “Why did you say I’m a homosexual?”

In the lawsuit filed against Palin and A&E (parent company of Lifetime) Hanks claimed the aired encounter on “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp.” caused him harm. Hanks claimed he never signed a waiver to appear on the show. He claimed the show invaded his privacy by airing Bristol’s comments about Hanks being gay. And he claimed Bristol damaged his reputation when she later gave an interview saying that Hanks’ hurtful comments caused her to leave Los Angeles and move back to Alaska.

After A&E had argued that Hanks is “out” as a gay man on his social media accounts, the judge ruled that “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp.” was protected by the First Amendment and that Hands was already “out” as a gay man on his social media accounts.