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Aug 4, 2015 5:57 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Justice Seeking To Dismiss Defamation Lawsuit

Aug 5, 2015 9:49 AM

Southampton Town and Village Justice Barbara Wilson is asking the courts to dismiss a $2.2 million defamation lawsuit filed against her.

Tony Gugliotta, who lives next door to Ms. Wilson on Elm Street in Southampton Village, filed the lawsuit in early June in State Supreme Court. The lawsuit claims that Ms. Wilson slandered Mr. Gugliotta by accusing him of being a sexual predator and a pedophile during a public meeting of the Southampton Village Architectural Review Board in April. Ms. Wilson also had accused Mr. Gugliotta of installing a security camera on his house that was pointed directly at her young daughter’s bedroom window.

Ms. Wilson had an application before the ARB to install an exterior staircase at the rear of her home, but has since withdrawn it. Mr. Gugliotta was at the meeting to speak against the proposed staircase when Ms. Wilson made the comments.

Ms. Wilson’s attorney, Brian Lester of Amagansett, did return a call seeking comment.

On Tuesday, Mr. Gugliotta’s attorney, Melville-based Anton J. Borovina, said Ms. Wilson filed papers to have the suit dismissed sometime in July on the grounds that she should not be held liable for what was said during the public meeting, arguing that statements at such meetings are protected from such actions. He said that a judge will review the motion and most likely make a determination sometime in November or December.

“I expected the motion,” Mr. Borovina said, adding that the situation is more problematic because a video of the meeting was published online afterward. “Whatever privilege she thought she had, she lost. She republished those defamatory statements after the meeting had been adjourned.”

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still see a mother looking out for her daughter. putting a camera pointed at her bedroom should have put him in cuffs
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Aug 5, 15 6:12 PM
How could he know exactly where the child's bedroom happened to be located? Was that explained in a past article about this issue ?
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Aug 6, 15 12:09 AM
A good neighbor would never position a video camera at a neighbors house. Probably occurred because of the past. driveway issue. Still bad taste. A good neighbor also would never accuse a neighbor of being a pedophile in a public forum without solid proof. I think they should both apologize to each other, shake hands and move on.I'm sure neither one of them wants this to go any further.
By Tuckahoe Ted (53), southampton on Aug 6, 15 1:28 PM
I just found out that the footage from the camera was viewed and all that was recorded was the activity in the driveway.
The camera was not pointing at the child's bedroom.
Also it's not illegal to have security cameras on your home.
To slander the neighbor in such a way is truly disgusting .
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Aug 7, 15 8:40 AM