Judge: Perez Hilton May Be Questioned in Lawsuit

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A judge said Wednesday that a celebrity gossip blogger may be questioned about a report claiming Lindsay Lohan's friend planted cocaine in the actress' car.

DJ Samantha Ronson has sued Perez Hilton for defamation after he repeated a report that first appeared on the Web site CelebrityBabylon.com.

Perez Hilton Picture

"I am not now and have never been a drug user," Samantha Ronson stated in a declaration filed with the court Monday. "I have never handled or touched cocaine. I did not place any cocaine at any place at any time."

According to the $20 million lawsuit, both postings defamed Ronson by stating she planted drugs found in Lohan's car after it crashed into a tree in Beverly Hills on May 26, and that she set up her friend to be photographed while under the influence.

Superior Court Judge Elihu M. Berle said Ronson's attorneys can take a four-hour deposition from Perez Hilton (real name Mario Lavandeira).

Hilton's attorney, Bryan J. Freedman (no relation to Britney Spears' friend and choreographer Brian Friedman) said his client made sure the data was "accurate and trustworthy" before he published it on his Hollywood gossip blog.

"He stands by his actions as being legal and proper and believes that the First Amendment protects him," Freedman said.

Ronson must prove that even if the report was erroneous, Perez Hilton acted maliciously, Freedman said after the hearing.

"The judge, at this point, found that they didn't provide any evidence of malice... so the judge was going to give them one more bite of the apple" by allowing the attorneys to question Hilton, he said.

"If Ms. Ronson is attempting to get some sort of relief in court and to show that Mario Lavandeira had any malice, I think she's going to a hardware store for milk. It's not going to happen," Freedman said.

Samantha Ronson also sued celebrity photo agency head Jill Ishkanian, whose Sunset Photo and News Agency operates CelebrityBabylon.com.

However, the judge was told Wednesday that Ishkanian's attorneys settled with Ronson, whose lawyer, Martin Garbus said the case may be dismissed Thursday.

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