A judged cleared the way Wednesday for a celebrity blogger to be questioned about his report claiming Lindsay Lohan's friend planted cocaine found in the actress's car after a crash.
Samantha Ronson has sued Perez Hilton for defamation after he repeated a report that first appeared on the Web site CelebrityBabylon.com.
"I am not now and have never been a drug user," Ronson stated in a supplemental declaration filed with the court on Monday. "I have never handled or touched cocaine. I did not ever place any cocaine at any place at any time."
According to the lawsuit, both postings defamed Ronson by stating she planted drugs that were found in Lohan's car after it crashed into a tree in Beverly Hills on May 26, and that she set up her friend to be photographed while under the influence of alcohol.
Superior Court Judge Elihu M. Berle said Ronson's attorneys can take a four-hour deposition from Hilton, whose real name is Mario Lavandeira.
Hilton's attorney, Bryan J. Freedman, said that his client made sure the information was "accurate and trustworthy" before he published his report.
"He stands by his actions as being legal and proper and believes that the First Amendment protects him," Freedman said.
Ronson must prove that even if the report was erroneous, Hilton acted maliciously, Freedman said after the hearing.
"The judge at this point found that they didn't provide any evidence of malice ... so the judge was going to give them one more bite of the apple" by allowing the attorneys to question Hilton, he said.
"If Ms. Ronson is attempting to get some sort of relief in court and to show that Mario Lavandeira had any malice, I think she's going to a hardware store for milk. It's just not going to happen," Freedman said.
Ronson also sued Jill Ishkanian, whose Sunset Photo and News Agency operates CelebrityBabylon.com.
However, the judge was told Wednesday that Ishkanian's attorneys have settled their case with Ronson. Ronson attorney Martin Garbus said the case could be dismissed as soon as Thursday.