Liddy Defamation Case Dismissed

ByABC News

B A L T I M O R E, Feb. 1, 2001 -- Shortly after declaring a mistrial in the $5.1 million defamation lawsuit against Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy, a federal judge dismissed the case altogether.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz agreed with a motion by Liddy's attorneysto throw out the charges, saying Liddy did not act unreasonablywhen he repeated his theory about Watergate.

The move came just hours after the jury failed to reach a verdict after deliberating eight hours over two days. Earlier today, the jury sent Judge Motz a note reading, "No way we can reach a verdict," and a mistrial was declared.

Ida "Maxie" Wells, a former secretary at the DemocraticNational Committee, sued Liddy for saying that the Watergateburglars were searching Wells' desk for a package of call-girlphotos believed to include a picture of the future wife of JohnDean, former Nixon White House counsel. Liddy took the stand earlier this week and stood by his account.He said the burglars who broke into the Watergate were looking notfor political intelligence on the 1972 campaign but compromisingphotos.

Dean has said the theory is ridiculous. His wife, Maureen, hasdisputed the existence of such a call-girl ring.

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