Top 5 most-read stories last week: Mother loses anti-SLAPP bid to dismiss ex-boyfriend’s defamation lawsuit |

Top 5 most-read stories last week: Mother loses anti-SLAPP bid to dismiss ex-boyfriend’s defamation lawsuit

Staff report

We’ve rounded up the top five most-read stories on from last week.

1.) Mother loses anti-SLAPP bid to dismiss ex-boyfriend’s defamation lawsuit

A ruling last week from the Colorado Court of Appeals will allow an Aspen man to pursue a defamation lawsuit against his ex-girlfriend for alleging he might have sexually molested their daughter.

By siding with a previous decision delivered by Pitkin County Judge Chris Seldin, the appellate court rejected the mother’s attempt to have the suit dismissed under Colorado’s anti-SLAPP statute enacted in 2019. SLAPP stands for strategic lawsuits against public participation; anti-SLAPP motions provide defendants a path to seek dismissal of litigation that interferes with their First Amendment rights.

The father’s defamation suit has been suppressed ever since it was filed in Pitkin County District Court in 2020, but the Court of Appeals’ order summarized the complaint: “In this case, (father) asserted defamation and related claims against (mother) after she reported that he might be sexually abusing their five-year-old child,” said the order. “Mother appeals the trial court’s denial of her special motion to dismiss those claims under the anti-SLAPP statute.”

— Rick Carroll

2.) ESPN sells majority stake of X Games to global firm; new CEO talks about future

More than two decades in, X Games is set for a makeover. How substantial of one is still to be determined.

On Wednesday, it was announced that ESPN — which created the franchise, first held in 1995 — had sold its majority stake to MSP Sports Capital. ESPN will maintain a minority position and continue to broadcast the events, but the day-to-day operational control of both the summer and winter contests is now in new hands.

“There is so much excitement around the X Games brand and I think everyone is just like, ‘Hell yeah.’ And I think that’s really exciting,” said new X Games CEO Steven Flisler in a phone interview with The Aspen Times on Wednesday. “It’s intimidating and overwhelming in a wonderful way, because there is so much opportunity and everyone has got a great experience of X Games and this imagery in their head.”

— Austin Colbert

3.) Adam Frisch campaign finds fortune in 81611 in bid to upset Lauren Boebert

Adam Frisch’s campaign for Congress raised approximately $208,500 from individual donors with Aspen addresses from January through September, which accounted for nearly 10% of his overall contributions during that period, based on filings with the Federal Elections Commission.

The 81611 ZIP code generated $192,625 for the Frisch campaign, which is more than the national annual average of $120,752 in federal campaign donations per ZIP code, according to the nonprofit organization Open Secrets, which examines federal campaign contributions and expenditures. Aspen residents with 81612 on their mailing address, which is exclusively for Aspen post office boxes, gave $15,875 to the Frisch campaign. 

All told, $4.04 million had been injected into federal campaigns this year from residents living in the 81611 ZIP code — 33 1/2 times greater than the national average, according to Open Secrets.

— Rick Carroll

4.) Mountain Mayhem: Farewell to chef Martin Oswald after long Aspen run

Before Martin Oswald bid Aspen farewell to return to his native Austria with his wife Carolyn, son Gus, and daughter Emily after nearly 30 years here, I caught up with the beloved chef for a Q+A about his culinary career here, which spanned Syzygy, Ute City, and Pyramid Bistro in Aspen; Riverside Grill in Basalt; Mix6 in Snowmass Village; catering for Jazz Aspen Snowmass and more. 

May Selby

5.) Smiddy ready to bear down as Pitkin County commissioner

Here’s what to remember about Erin Smiddy’s encounter in a party dress with the bear: She punched back and kept swinging.

The full-grown bruin trapped her in a downtown alley in late July 2014, stood on his hind legs and swatted at her, mostly missing and landing heavily. 

“I smacked him on the snout, like a dog” she remembered with a laugh. She also was yelling ‘No!” and kicked him, thankful for her cowgirl boots, the kind with sharp points. She escaped with a scratch on her belly and a cut needing 17 stitches on an upper leg.

Don Rogers

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