Charles Oakley Is Suing James Dolan And MSG For Libel And Slander

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When the criminal case against Charles Oakley was finally settled, with the Knicks legend accepting a 1-year ban from Madison Square Garden, many assumed the long and ugly battle between he and Knicks owner James Dolan would be put to rest at least for a bit. However, on Tuesday morning, Oakley filed a civil lawsuit against Dolan, MSG, and MSG Sports and Entertainment for libel and slander.

The lawsuit alleges that the statements made by MSG and Dolan after the February incident in which Oakley had a physical altercation with Garden security about Oakley having problems with alcohol were damaging to his reputation. This is in reference to both the official statement from MSG released after the incident that insinuated that his issues with alcohol were directly related to his altercation, as well as Dolan doubling down on the alcoholism accusation in his bizarre radio interview following his initial decision to ban Oakley.

While Oakley accepted a plea deal for his role in the incident itself, it’s clear that he hasn’t forgotten what Dolan said and isn’t ready to let that just slide. Oakley’s lawsuit alleges Dolan launched a “defamatory public relations campaign” against him to try and turn Knicks fans against him.

NBC New York released a snippet of the lawsuit’s allegations on Tuesday morning.

Following the Feb. 8 incident, the Knicks owner and MSG launched “a coordinated and defamatory public relations campaign against Mr. Oakley, baselessly accusing him of abusing fans and staff, acting inappropriately and struggling with alcoholism,” Oakley alleges in his suit.

“By propagating these blatant lies about Mr. Oakley, Defendants Dolan and MSG have caused irreparable harm to his name and career and discriminated against him based on the false perception that he is an alcoholic, all in a transparent attempt to denigrate his standing among Knicks fans,” the suit also alleges.

Dolan and MSG have not responded to the lawsuit yet, but for those in New York hoping this ugly incident would finally go away, it appears as though the legal battle between Dolan and Oakley has only just begun.