Courthouse News reports that former Main Line realtor Andrea Straub has filed a lawsuit against CBS3:
She claims she was fired after local station CBS3 and four employees broadcast the “preposterous and knowingly false story” alleging that she “scattered dead animals and destroyed [her] neighbor’s ‘for sale’ home signs for the sole purpose of gaining an upper hand in competing home sales.”
In the suit, Straub accuses several people at the station and one non-reporter, a house-sitter who’d encountered Straub previously, of deliberately setting out to ruin her reputation by crafting a false story. The details, as alleged in the complaint, are rather baroque:
“First, [house-sitter] Welsch made a bogus complaint to the police about Ms. Straub which was summarily rejected by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office. [CBS3 employee Kim] Papay and Welsch next used edited, secret footage taken by Welsch to claim that Ms. Straub was vandalizing a for-sale sign and placing animal corpses on the adjoining property.”
Straub claims Papay then funneled the edited video to CBS3 as an “exclusive.”
CBS3 ran the story and accompanying video, despite a call Straub says she made to her friend, reporter Lesley VanArsdall.
VanArsdall told news director Susan Schiller, anchor Chris May and Hunter that the video was not of Straub, but they ran the story anyway, Straub says. They allegedly explained that they “had” to air it because other stations were running the story without the video.
That same day, Schiller allegedly overheard Papay screaming to someone on her phone that “you sent us the wrong video” and “you promised me that video so I could get us an exclusive.”
And on it goes…