Bishop Michael Bird of the Hamilton, Ontario-based Diocese of Niagara has dropped his $400,000 defamation of character lawsuit against blogger David Jenkins.
The Rt. Rev. Michael Bird, Bishop of the Hamilton, Ontario-based Diocese of Niagara has dropped his $400,000 defamation of character lawsuit against blogger David Jenkins, after Mr. Jenkins agreed to partial payment of the bishop’s legal fees and an apology.
On 2 April 2014 Mr. Jenkins posted a message on his blog, Anglican Samizdat, stating: “David Jenkins apologises to Bishop Michael Bird for any suffering he has experienced as a result of blog postings made by David Jenkins on his blog Anglican Samizdat.”
In February 2013 Bishop Bird sued Mr. Jenkins claiming his blog had defamed him by describing him as a weak, ineffectual leader, a thief, sexual pervert and atheist. The bishop’s complaint further alleged that altered photos printed on the Anglican Samizdat of the bishop sporting underwear on his head, and of his face appearing atop the body of the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il.
Bishop Bird demanded $400,000 in damages plus court costs and their legal costs, the closure of the Anglican Samizdat website, and perpetual ban on Mr. Jenkins ever uttering public comments about him.
After negotiations between the bishop’s attorneys and Mr. Jenkins the bishop agreed to drop his claim for damages in exchange for a partial payment of his legal costs of $18,000, the removal of the offending posts from the Anglican Samizdat website and for Mr. Jenkins to refrain from writing about the bishop again.
In a note to his website explaining the reasons for accepting the settlement, Mr. Jenkins wrote: “I decided that further financial haggling was infra dig, so I agreed to the terms.”