Nov 11, 2014 10:57 PM
Skakel settles lawsuit against HLN's Nancy Grace
The Associated Press
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel has settled a lawsuit against television commentator Nancy Grace and others over comments made on her HLN network show in 2012 about the murder case against him.
Neither side has disclosed details of the settlement, which was entered Oct. 31 in New Haven federal court.
Skakel's 2013 lawsuit said he was slandered by untrue comments that DNA linked him to the 1975 killing of his Greenwich neighbor Martha Moxley when both were 15 years old. The lawsuit named Grace, Time Warner Inc., Turner Broadcasting System Inc. and commentator Beth Karas.
Skakel, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy, has maintained his innocence. He was convicted in 2002 but was freed last year after a judge granted him a new trial.
The defendants in the lawsuit had argued that Skakel is a public figure. His attorney said the comments were untrue and could hurt him in a retrial.
HLN retracted the comments in a statement Oct. 30.
"HLN's Nancy Grace show mistakenly reported that DNA evidence linking Michael Skakel to the murder of Martha Moxley was found at the crime scene," the statement read. "This aspect of its report is inaccurate. There was never any DNA evidence offered in the trial linking Michael Skakel to the murder of Martha Moxley."
Skakel's attorney Stephan Seeger called the settlement a vindication.
"They got it wrong, and they set the record straight," Seeger told the Connecticut Post, which first reported the settlement last month.
A spokeswoman for Grace and HLN, Alison Rudkick, told the Post, "The settlement terms are confidential. We think the filings and publicly available materials speak for themselves."
No date has been set for a new Skakel trial, which is being appealed by prosecutors.