Akre/Wilson Statement


-----Original Message-----

From: Steve Wilson [mailto:wilson@citicom.com]
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2003 1:08 PM
To: John Sugg
Cc: Neil Skene; Ken Edelstein; Jane Akre
Subject: Akre/Wilson Statement


John,

As with you, I'm very busy and just can't keep devoting time to your
repeated fishing expeditions here.  I trust your 17th and latest e-mail includes the
last of your questions about all this.

Let me again do my best to answer your inquiries: you wrote:

> Your website alludes to $3 million in potential fees for Fox. However, Fox
has  only won fees for the appellate portion of the case -- which will be far,
far  less than $3 million. It has not (yet) sought other fees.  Is the $3 million figure misleading?

No.  I believe your question is based on a misunderstanding of where things
stand now.

First, unless Fox has told you otherwise or has withdrawn its motion and
failed to notify us, still pending at the trial court level is the defendant's
motion for reimbursement of trial court costs and fees.  This motion--along with a
similar one we filed--was held in abeyance by the trial court judge pending
the appeal of the jury verdict.  To this date it has not been withdrawn, as far
as I and our lawyers know.  Since your Fox friends are so kind as to keep feeding
you deposition transcripts and other information, perhaps you might want to
check with them as to whether they have withdrawn that motion or decided not to
pursue it?

As you know, the order granting Fox reimbursement of its costs and fees
related only to the appeal has itself been appealed and a decision is pending.

Bottom line: with the pending-but-challenged order for fees and costs
related to the appeal, PLUS the still-pending motion for an order granting fees and
costs for the entire trial, it is no exaggeration to say, as we did on the
website:

<<...Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal has issued a ruling which
could ultimately lead to an order that we are liable for Fox’s court costs and
legal fees which could amount to maybe $3 million, all told.>>

And we say "could ultimately lead" because Fox attorneys, if they ultimately
win the appeal of the DCA order, will no doubt use that as a strong part of
their argument before the trial judge that they should similarly be entitled to
trial costs and fees.

Now with regard to your references that I once hid money under my mattress:
It's been a long time but as I recall, this was an off-handed remark made in
a deposition when your friend Pat Anderson insisted I remember what I did with
some sum of money I had long since forgotten. Out of exasperation, I
suggested maybe I stuffed it under my mattress.  Words on a transcript page may be
interpreted by you now to suggest something that no one in the room at the
time would have concluded was a serious response.

And in response to your inquiries regarding tax returns and other personal
financial matters:  As a matter of privacy, I don't discuss family personal
and financial matters publicly.

Let me also suggest to you--and by copy of this response to your publisher
and editor, too--that publishing further information and speculation about
private matters wholly unrelated to our public conduct in a further attempt to lead
your readers to false conclusions about our integrity based on nothing more than
innuendo, will be taken as additional proof of actual malice on your part.

We have always recognized our obligation to be accountable, as demonstrated
by our prompt, detailed and repeated responses to you and our decision to
register
with the state and file regular reports even though you now agree we are not
required to do so.  Your crusade has gone far beyond responsible journalism
and even fair comment and criticism and extends now well into the category of
malicious abuse.  Jane and I are at our limit with your misconduct in this
regard.

p.s.  We're still awaiting your disclosure of the source of the innaccurate
real estate information you published.