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Bingham v. Struve
New York Supreme Court
184 A.D.2d 85, 591 N.Y.S.2d 156 (1992)
Between 1953 and 1955, A. Walker Bingham III (plaintiff) and Catherine T.A. Struve (defendant) had a romantic affair. At the time, Bingham was a married law student in his mid-20s. After their affair ended, Bingham and Struve had no contact for almost 30 years. Bingham divorced. Struve married in 1965 and had two children. In 1967, Bingham remarried. In 1983, Bingham and Struve had a chance encounter and began another affair. In 1984, Struve divorced. The second affair lasted until 1989, at which point Struve claimed that Bingham had raped her in 1953 and that she had repressed memories of the rape until then. Struve believed that the incident had caused her to be depressed and dysfunctional for years. Struve began calling and writing letters to Bingham, alleging that he had raped her. In 1991, Bingham and his wife (plaintiff) sued Struve for libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress, seeking injunctive and monetary relief. Thereafter, Struve began daily picketing in front of the Binghams’ apartment building wearing a sandwich-board sign. The sign was addressed to the residents of the building and declared that “A. Walker Bingham” had raped her and was suing her for libel. The Binghams filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop Struve’s picketing and other communications. Struve argued that she was engaging in protected free speech.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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