Michael Lewis Cleared of Defamation Charges

The Big ShortA federal judge ruled that Michael Lewis is not guilty of defaming money manager Wing Chau in his best-selling 2010 book The Big Short which examined the origins of the financial crisis.

“The court granted summary judgment in favor of Michael Lewis and Norton and dismissed the lawsuit related to the book,” confirmed W.W. Norton’s publicity director Louise Brockett.

Mr. Chau named Norton, the book’s publisher, and hedge fund manager Steve Eisman ( who was a source for Mr. Lewis), as a co-defendants in the 2011 lawsuit, which accused Mr. Lewis of making defamatory statements in a chapter about a Las Vegas dinner attended by Mr. Chau and Mr. Eisman.

U.S. District Judge George Daniels said the statements were “non-actionable expressions of opinion,” not “assertions of fact that may properly serve as a basis for libel claims,” according to Reuters.

“A careful review of Chapter 6 of The Big Short indicates that the challenged statements are incapable of being reasonably susceptible to any defamatory meaning,” Mr. Daniels wrote in the ruling.

Mr. Chau’s lawyer, Steven Molo, told Reuters that they intend to appeal the judge’s decision.