Thursday, September 17, 2015

iHM, WAIO Personalities Sued For Slander

ROCHESTER RADIO -- WAIO 95.1 FM afternoon personalities Kimberly Ray and Barry Beck along with iHeartMedia are being sued for slander by a philanthropist and former Rochester businessman  who said they went on the air at their new station and accused him of being a drug dealer.

Michael Amalfi Sr. said in a lawsuit filed last week that Kimberly and Beck, as the pair have long been known, had defamed him on a May broadcast by saying he’d peddled large quantities of marijuana at the family market.

“The logical result and inevitable effect of this defamation was to expose the plaintiff to ridicule, obloquy, disgrace and embarrassment,” said his legal papers, filed in state Supreme Court.

The papers don’t say how much in damages he is asking in compensation.

Amalfi, who now lives in Florida, helped operate the family-owned Amalfi’s Meat Market, a venerable Portland Avenue institution that closed in 2004. He is a low-profile, upstanding citizen, the court papers state, and “has never been engaged in the sale of marijuana or any other illicit substances.”

The contested statements by Kimberly and Beck were made in the wake of the 2014 arrest of Amalfi’s son, Michael Amalfi Jr., on federal drug-trafficking and money-laundering charges. He was accused of working with five other men to sell more than 200 pounds of marijuana. The younger Amalfi operated a restaurant; he had never run the family meat market.

Michael Amalfi Jr. pleaded guilty in April of this year. When his plea became public knowledge on May 13, Kimberly and Beck discussed the case on their show.

The radio duo and their listener-callers are known for engaging in unfiltered, sometimes-unconfirmed chatter about news of the day. The shtick has gotten them in trouble before.

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