Two radio titans could be squaring off in a courtroom soon.
UFO-minded radio legend Art Bell has slapped conservative radio host Michael Savage, claiming that Savage defamed Bell and his wife during a September broadcast.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in California, takes issue with the Sept. 25 broadcast of “The Savage Nation” program, during which Savage allegedly made “defamatory and slanderous statements.”
Specifically, the complaint claims, Savage, while discussing topics that can’t safely be broadcast on the radio, said, “You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio for a number of years. You can’t do UFOs. That’s an in-joke, by the way, for people who understand the business.”
Art understood the comment to be a dig at himself and his wife, Airyn Ruiz Bell, who was a university student in the Philippines when Bell met her. The pair married in 2006 in the Philippines.
“Ms. Bell has never been a prostitute and was 22 years old when the Bells married,” the lawsuit reads. “Also, Mr. Bell was not ‘off the radio’ because he discussed UFOs or married Ms. Bell. These facts were publicly known and closely followed by many in the radio broadcasting industry and general public.”
Westwood One, also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, had no comment on the suit for TheWrap. We have also reached out to defendant Cumulus Broadcasting.
As a result of the alleged comments, the lawsuit says, the Bells suffered “injury to their reputations and well-being” and “severe emotional distress.”
Alleging defamation, false light, invasion of privacy and other counts, the Bells are seeking unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.