Judge tosses out libel suit Laurie Fine brought against ESPN

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) A Syracuse judge has thrown out a libel lawsuit brought against ESPN by the wife of a former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Peebles rejected Laurie Fine's claims Friday. Peebles said the 2012 defamation claims against ESPN Inc. and an ESPN reporter and producer could not stand.

The judge said Fine was a public figure, meaning she would have to prove actual malice. He said it would be unreasonable to conclude the defendants acted with actual malice in publishing three stories.

Fine is married to Bernie Fine, a one-time assistant Syracuse coach who was fired by the university in November 2011 after allegations of child molestation against him surfaced. He was never charged and has adamantly denied wrongdoing.

Lawyers did not immediately respond to comment requests.