A Florida meter reader is coming to collect from the National Enquirer, and he's looking for a lot more than a few quarters.
Orange County, Fla., meter reader Roy Kronk, who found the remains of two-year-old homicide victim Caylee Anthony, is suing the tabloid and its parent company, American Media, for defamation, due to a story that that the paper reported about Kronk in a Dec. 7, 2009 report.
Read the full lawsuit here.
According to the suit — filed Thursday in a Florida circuit court –the Enquirer's story was headlined "Casey Anthony Says Meter Reader Killed Caylee." The ensuing story repeated several claims, attributed to Casey Anthony's legal team, about Kronk's past, including that he had displayed "inappropriate behavior with young girls" and had used duct tape to hold his ex-wife against her will. The suit dismisses the paper's claims as "false and defamatory," and says that it has caused Kronk to suffer "loss of reputation, embarrassment, humiliation [and] outrage."
Kronk is seeking damages "in excess of $15,000."
American Media's legal counsel counters to TheWrap that the paper's report was "very neutral," noting that the story asserted that Anthony's story was not supported by police reports or prior convictions. The Enquirer's story also quotes Kronk's attorney at length, saying that his client had been "dragged through the mud" by Anthony.
In an August letter to Kronk's attorney, American Media rejected a request for a retraction, noting that the Enquirer's story had emphasized that Kronk was never named as a suspect in Anthony's death, and that the evidence that Casey Anthony killed her daughter was "overwhelming."
"No court would find that the article defames Mr. Kronk," the letter asserts.
Kronk found Caylee's remains in a wooded area near the Anthony residence in August 2008, reporting his findings to police. In 2011, following a trial that the media covered obsessively, Caylee's mother, Casey Anthony, was found not guilty of murdering her daughter, but was found guilty of providing several false statements to law-enforcement officers.
Kronk's attorney did not respond to TheWrap's request for comment.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.