Mickey Rooney's Widow Drops Elder-Abuse Lawsuit Over Investigative Story

The suit followed The Hollywood Reporter's piece "Tears and Terror: The Disturbing Final Years of Mickey Rooney."
National Film Preservation Foundation

The widow of Mickey Rooney has withdrawn her lawsuit against The Hollywood Reporter three months after filing it.

Jan Rooney had accused the periodical, its journalists and their editor in late 2017 of intentional infliction of emotional distress and elder abuse due to its 2015 publication of an investigative article detailing her and her son’s own alleged elder abuse of the legendary actor, who died in 2014. She asserted that the reporters’ act of asking her questions about her late husband’s purported mistreatment at her hands caused her to “suffer severe emotional distress and mental suffering.”

Jan Rooney did not sue THR for defamation pertaining to the story, whose facts were never challenged. The Los Angeles Press Club honored the journalists, Gary Baum and Scott Feinberg, with an investigative reporting award in 2016 for their work.

Jan Rooney’s attorney, Alan Buckholtz, moved to dismiss the claim in Los Angeles Superior Court on Jan. 18 after legal counsel representing THR’s parent company informed him that the periodical would soon file its own special motion to strike Jan Rooney's claims under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, which protects free speech and discourages meritless lawsuits.

There was no settlement between the parties.