Michael Broadbent Wins!

As a fan of Michael Broadbent since I cut my teeth in wine, I was very pleased to read he indeed was cleared of any wrongdoing in his lawsuit against Random House.

The book The Billionaire's Vinegar had zero foundation in putting Broadbent in such a position in my opinion.
Original Post
Its a U.K. settlement and apparently does not affect the book in the U.S.

U.K. is also are known for plantiff friendly libel laws, so in some respects I think Random House chose which country was more important to market the book to. They can't in the U.K. but they can in the U.S....with many, many more people.


Frankly, the whole ordeal seem fishy to me. How nobody gave credence to those bottles being fake before they went the auction amazes me. Kids in a candy store. MB isn't solely to blame though...obviously.
w+a

I think you may have tasted a fake bottle recently, but that thread was curiously deleted by the "thread police"! Eek which makes it all the more a question of truth vs fakery. And these were old bottles, just think how much could be made with counterfeit First Growths in today's marketplace! Cost for bottles, labels, and cork, filled with any left bank cru bourgeois could result in a clear profit of about $600 per bottle. Be careful!
quote:
Originally posted by latour67:
w+a

I think you may have tasted a fake bottle recently, but that thread was curiously deleted by the "thread police"! Eek which makes it all the more a question of truth vs fakery. And these were old bottles, just think how much could be made with counterfeit First Growths in today's marketplace! Cost for bottles, labels, and cork, filled with any left bank cru bourgeois could result in a clear profit of about $600 per bottle. Be careful!


What does that have to do with Broadbent?
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by latour67:
w+a

I think you may have tasted a fake bottle recently, but that thread was curiously deleted by the "thread police"! Eek which makes it all the more a question of truth vs fakery. And these were old bottles, just think how much could be made with counterfeit First Growths in today's marketplace! Cost for bottles, labels, and cork, filled with any left bank cru bourgeois could result in a clear profit of about $600 per bottle. Be careful!


What does that have to do with Broadbent?

If w+a and Michael Broadbent missed a counterfeit wine, then perhaps it's more difficult to recognize counterfeit wines than one might realize!

Broadbent was also my first wine critic of repute!
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Random House apologized, accepted all allegations were untrue, and paid Broadbent money.

What have I misread?



You originally wrote that Broadbent was "cleared of any wrongdoing" which is decidedly not the case. This never went to trial and that wasn't necessarily going to be determined at trial in any event.

I haven't read the settlement agreement or the lawsuit filings. However, this article provides some details. Broadbent "claimed in his suit that the book falsely depicts him as complicit in a crime." I read the book and didn't see it doing so. It is those allegations that Random has apologized for and said were untrue.

As I see this, Broadbent sued under the generous libel laws saying that Random house said a bunch of libelous things. Random house viewed a settlement as economically prudent. It was easy for them to disavow things that weren't in the book but only in Broadbent's charges.

Neil
quote:
Originally posted by Neil K.:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Random House apologized, accepted all allegations were untrue, and paid Broadbent money.

What have I misread?



You originally wrote that Broadbent was "cleared of any wrongdoing" which is decidedly not the case. This never went to trial and that wasn't necessarily going to be determined at trial in any event.

I haven't read the settlement agreement or the lawsuit filings. However, this article provides some details. Broadbent "claimed in his suit that the book falsely depicts him as complicit in a crime." I read the book and didn't see it doing so. It it those allegations that Random has apologized for and said were untrue.

As I see this, Broadbent sued under the generous libel laws saying that Random house said a bunch of libelous things. Random house viewed a settlement as economically prudent. It was easy for them to disavow things that weren't in the book but only in Broadbent's charges.

Neil


And from what I gathered, the book is still being published and distributed in the US. From my view of the book, had he brought the claims in the US, he would have been thrown out of Court. And, unless the parts of the book about Rodenstock's assistant gathering the corks was not true, the entire episode should have reeked to high heaven to anyone paying attention
For US readers, Wallace has he say on those points here. I agree about collecting the corks and a few other things in terms of raising suspicions. However, everyone wanted these wines to be genuine. I'm sure we can all think of similar situations where our hopes got the better of us.

As for Broadbent, I view him as an old school gentlemen who was unwittingly duped but refuses to see it that way for understandable reasons.

Neil
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
I haven't followed this at all, but I have great admiration for Michael Broadbent. He was my guide when I began collecting and learning about wine.


A few years ago at a tasting in NYC, had an opportunity to meet him and get his book autographed. Book is in a prominent place on my book shelf.

Love his reviews and background explaining wines.

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