Woman Falsely Accused of Being a Porn Star Awarded $1 Million
KANSAS CITY — A woman falsely identified as a porn star on a Kansas City radio show was awarded $1 million in damages by the U.S. District Court.
Ashley Patton filed the suit against the radio station’s owner, Entercom Kansas City, claiming she experienced mental suffering, shame and humiliation as a result of the mistake. The jury ultimately awarded Patton $250,000 in actual damages and $750,000 in punitive damages, the Kansas City Star reported.
The incident occurred on a 2012 broadcast of “Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz” on 96.5 The Buzz, hosted by Afentra Bandokoudis, known as “Afentra,” and Daniel Terreros, known as “Danny Boi.”
During the show, the hosts asked listeners if they knew of any local porn stars. After two text messages referencing an Ashley Patton, the hosts Googled her name and turned up pornographic images of a woman with a similar name, Ashley Payton.
Not realizing their mistake, the station posted a list of the names culled during the show on its website along with a link to the podcast.
When Patton complained to the radio station several times, they removed it.
Patton’s lawyer Arthur Benson argued to the court that the station’s employees acted with reckless disregard to the truth and the company needed to be accountable for their actions.
Both sides agreed that Patton was never involved with pornography.
Entercom’s lawyer Fritz Riesmeyer acknowledged that the hosts’ actions were offensive, explaining, “A mistake was made that day, no question about it. However, it was an unknowing mistake.”
Benson turned the spotlight on the company as whole, arguing that its business model hinged on being offensive.
“It’s all about the money,” Benson said. “If they hurt somebody, they will keep doing it unless somebody stands up and fights back.”