Former Chicago television reporter Amy Jacobson, the so-called “bikini reporter,” has returned to the headlines. But this time, reported Wowowow.com, she’s faring a little better. Her lawsuit against CBS 2 of Chicago (a rival news organization of NBC 5, for whom she worke) for airing a controversial 6-minute video of her clad in a bikini at a pool party at the house of a recently deceased woman whose husband she was at the time investigating for a story has been given the go-ahead by Associate Cook County Judge Elizabeth Budzinski.
According to the Chicago Tribune, back in July 2008, Amy Jacobson filed a lawsuit against CBS 2 and the woman who owned the house from where the video was taken. She sued on grounds of invasion of privacy, defamation, interference with her employment (she was terminated after the video was aired on supposition that she was allegedly committing adultery to get a news story), and interference with employment expectation (Amy Jacobson was finding it very difficult to get a job in television journalism).
The pool party in question occurred on July 6, 2007. The story broke on July 10 and Amy Jacobson was fired later the same day by NBC 5. Dubbed the “bikini reporter,” Jacobson could not get another job, so she and her husband (and children) were forced to move from their home and into a small apartment. The ‘pool party case’, which is what the litigation was commonly referred to, also named Jacobson’s husband, Jamie Anglada, as a co-defendant, stating that he had also been hurt – through lack of financial support, sexual relations, and various other losses — by the airing of the video and subsequent actions.
The video in question shows Amy Jacobson in a bikini at a pool party. The pool party was being held by Craig Stebic, a man whose wife had mysteriously disappeared and who Amy Jacobson was supposedly investigating for a news story. Questions of impropriety led to Jacobson being dismissed at NBC 5.
The media ran with various stories of the “bikini video reporter” who used adultery to get her story. There is no known evidence that Amy Jacobson was doing anything other than enjoying herself at somone’s residence. The reason for her being at Stebic’s residence is all just so much idle speculation.
The more pertinent questions should be: Why was this person videotaping her from afar?
Amy Jacobson has denied all wrongdoing in the case and maintains the “false light” within which she was depicted has cost her greatly. The video of her in the bikini also shows her children at the pool party as well.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported in November that her husband had served her with divorce papers. It is unknown whether or not the divorce is a direct result of the circumstances surrrounding the video or from all the subsequent publicity and turmoil engendered by the video and its airing. It is possible the divorce stems from something altogether unrelated to the ‘pool party case.’
Still, the decision handed down by Judge Elizabeth Budzinski is good news for Amy Jacobson. That she only dismissed one count (of eight), according to the Chicagoist, in Jacobson’s case is also good news for the beleaguered reporter.
The lawsuit asks for over one million dollars in damages.
Craig Stebic is now considered a “person of interest” in the disappearance of his wife, Lisa. She disappeared April 30, 2007.