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Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008 12:56 am

Appeals court affirms Frazier

Defamation suit by NAACP official dismissed

Carl Madison, former president of the Springfield branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has lost another round in his lawsuit against Renatta Frazier, the former Springfield Police officer who was falsely accused of failing to prevent a rape.

Madison, who now lives in Ohio, sued Frazier in 2005 claiming defamation after she published The Enemy in Blue, a book about her tenure with SPD. In the book, she recounts turning to the NAACP for help, and her eventual disillusionment with Madison. The harshest statement she made about him in her book — "Real men don't lie. . . real men don't sell out" — became the crux of his federal lawsuit against her.

Last week, in a split decision, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court decision granting Frazier summary judgment against Madison, saying that "the phrase 'sell out' is incapable of being verified as a statement of fact; it is merely an opinion that Madison betrayed his race."

The court devoted more time to Frazier's implication that Madison lied (about which party ended their relationship), but concluded that Madison, as a public figure, would have had to show that Frazier published an untruth with malice.

Frazier, contacted in Hawaii, says she's relieved this chapter has closed.

"The bottom line is: I felt like he didn't do his job, and I was disappointed because of that. I expressed it the best way I thought necessary," she says. "Even to this day, I have no regrets."

Contact Dusty Rhodes at drhodes@illinoistimes.com

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