Jose Santana, James Franco’s ex-professor, isn’t the only one suing New York University for defamation. Pari Sara Shirazi, the ex-president of Tisch School of the Arts Asia, is also suing NYUfor slander, libel and wrongful termination. Filed in New York’s Supreme Court, Shirazi is looking to be re-instated and awarded damages.
This university defamation case revolves around a complicated series of financial transactions related to renovations and other school programs. The plaintiff, Shirazi, insists she was only following through with established contracts and that the head of Tisch Asia’s Board of Directors approved each transaction; the university says she improperly transferred millions of dollars, to her program, over the course of several years.
The defamation lawsuit says that “Dr Shirazi’s reputation in Singapore has been severely harmed, and, upon information and belief, she will be unable to secure future employment in Singapore, thus resulting in future economic losses.” The filing painstakingly details every possible instance of defamation – both slanderous and libelous. The plaintiff also avers that she was not informed of any contract changes until her firing meeting.
And perhaps most interestingly, from a conspiratorial angl, is the insinuation out of Shirazi’s camp that she may have been targeted for removal to make way for a more lucrative partnership with the National University of Singapore.
In order to win this university defamation lawsuit, Shirazi will have to prove how the statements in question have harmed her – which will not be difficult to do if she is having difficulty getting a job. Since, however, truth is a defense for defamation in NY, if the school can convince a judge and or jury that their accusations of alleged impropriety are accurate, then the ex-NYU executive may find herself on the losing side of this university defamation scuffle. Without hearing the full story from both sides, though, it would be unwise of me to render a winner’s prediction in this case.
This defamation case will play out in the New York court system over the next several months. Both sides are holding firm to their stances. John Beckman, an NYU spokesman, charged that “despite how she seeks to portray herself or what she claims in her lawsuit, she isn’t a victim and she hasn’t been mistreated. The University expects to prevail in any court case.” Dr. Shirazi, however, avowed that “Overnight, the NYU administration stripped me of everything I have worked for, and yet today, I feel happy and free because I can and I will have my day in court.”
Do you need the assistance of a defamation lawyer? Kelly / Warner is an AV-rated law firm that has successfully handled hundreds of slander and libel cases. Feel free to contact us today to begin the conversation.