'Stolen Honor' Vet Sues Film's Producer
PHILADELPHIA – A Vietnam veteran shown in a documentary criticizing Sen. John Kerry's (search) anti-war activities filed a libel lawsuit against the movie's producer Monday, saying the film falsely calls the veteran a fraud and a liar.
Kenneth J. Campbell, now a professor at the University of Delaware, said in the suit that "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal" combines footage of him appearing at a 1971 war protest with narration that claims that many of the supposed veterans who took part in the event were later "discovered as frauds" who "never set foot on the battlefield, or left the comfort of the States, or even served in uniform."
The suit said viewers would be left with the perception that Campbell had lied about his military service.
Campbell attached copies of his military records to the lawsuit, showing that he received a Purple Heart and eight other medals, ribbons and decorations for his service in Vietnam.
Film producer Carlton Sherwood's company, Red White and Blue Productions, did not immediately return a call on Monday seeking comment.
Campbell also threatened legal action against the Sinclair Broadcast Group, an owner of 62 television stations that has announced that it intends to pre-empt regular programming to broadcast "Stolen Honor."
The film explores Kerry's 1971 testimony before the Senate and links him to anti-war activist and actress Jane Fonda. Vietnam prisoners of war claim in the film that his testimony demeaned them and led to prisoners being held longer.
The Democratic National Committee filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission contending that airing the film should be considered an illegal in-kind contribution to the Bush campaign. Kerry's presidential campaign asked that each station carrying the program provide a similar amount of time to Kerry supporters.
Sinclair has contended that the program is news and has invited Kerry to appear on a post-broadcast program. Kerry has declined.