Sheldon Adelson, chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., sued the National Jewish Democratic Council and its top officers for libel, saying the organization falsely claimed he approved of prostitution in his Macau casinos.
Adelson, a billionaire and top fundraiser for Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, filed his $10 million suit today in Manhattan federal court. He claims the NJDC, its president, David Harris, and its chairman, Marc Stanley, “crossed the threshold from constitutionally protected speech to defamation of a public figure.”
The suit is over an article that Adelson says was authored by Harris and posted on the NJDC website claiming Adelson approved of prostitution in his Macau casinos and urging Romney to cease accepting his donations. The article cites allegations made in a separate lawsuit by an employee of Sands China Ltd., Adelson says. Adelson denies the claims.
“We will not be bullied into submission,” the NJDC said in an e-mailed statement. “Referencing mainstream press accounts examining the conduct of a public figure and his business ventures -- as we did -- is wholly appropriate.”
On its website, the group says its goal is to win “Jewish support for Democrats at the federal and state levels of government.”
The suit is Adelson v. Harris, 12-cv-6052, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).