'Dr. Phil': No Aruba damages due
EmptyTwo brothers who filed a defamation lawsuit against the "Dr. Phil" show for airing a segment about their roles as former suspects in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway should not be entitled to punitive damages, an attorney for the show said.
Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, both residents of Aruba, filed the suit in December seeking unspecified damages against talk show host Phillip McGraw, CBS Television Distribution Group and private investigator Jamie Skeeters.
The lawsuit alleges the show altered portions of a secretly recorded conversation between Deepak Kalpoe and Skeeters to "create false, incriminating, and defamatory statements that the plaintiffs engaged in criminal activity against Natalee Holloway."
William Haggerty, an attorney for McGraw and CBS, said in court papers filed Friday in Los Angeles that widespread news reports of the brothers' arrest "serves to mitigate any damages allegedly suffered by them and bars or reduces their right to recover any damages."
Haggerty also denied his clients intentionally misrepresented any fact to the brothers or acted with malicious intent. Skeeters is being represented by a separate attorney.
An after-hours telephone message left Monday for the attorney representing the brothers was not immediately returned.
Holloway was 18 when she disappeared on May 30, 2005, while on a trip to Aruba with classmates from her Alabama high school. She was last seen getting into a car with the brothers and their friend, Joran van der Sloot.
Police spent months searching for the missing teen, but the case did not lead to any criminal trial in Aruba.
The brothers were released from police custody following their arrest and have not been charged in the case.