SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento Kings player Richaun Holmes is suing a Sacramento Bee reporter, the newspaper's owner, and his ex-wife for defamation after articles about their custody battles were published online.
The complaint alleges the newspaper, reporter and his ex-wife were “clinging to, and cashing in on a false narrative steeped in harmful racial stereotypes,” by writing and publishing articles about their custody battles and "implying" he abused his then-wife Allexis Holmes.
The 28-page complaint filed by Camille Vasquez from Brown Rudnick LLP — who represented Johnny Depp in his case against Amber Heard — alleges the five articles “publicize the false narrative of abuse” and caused “undeserved emotional and financial harm for which [Richaun Holmes] seeks recompense in this action.”
The articles are all filed under the “opinion and commentary” section on the Sacramento Bee’s website, and the complaint alleges Allexis Holmes and the Bee worked together to “use that narrative to benefit themselves.”
Richaun Holmes and Allexis Holmes finalized their divorce in 2019 and opted to co-parent their 6-year-old son, getting the court involved to work out school, visitation, child support and alimony payments, according to the suit.
The complaint goes on to allege Allexis Holmes became “furious” and “physically attack[ed]” Richaun Holmes after finding out he was dating someone else.
He then made attempts to change custody arrangements in May 2021, alleging Allexis Holmes was not following the agreements previously approved.
After additional visits to the court from Nov. 2021 to Feb. 2022, Allexis Holmes filed for a domestic violence restraining order which the complaint says was “ultimately rejected by the Los Angeles Superior Court.” Richaun Holmes was later awarded full custody of their son.
The Sacramento Bee’s articles were published between March 22 through May 18, 2022 where they spoke to Allexis Holmes, domestic abuse organizers and other sources.
The complaint alleges these articles imply Richaun Holmes abused Allexis Holmes and the courts, NBA and Sacramento Kings failed to bring justice to an abuser.
ABC10 reached out to the attorney representing the Sacramento Bee, who sent the following statement:
"I think that the Bee’s coverage was a fair and true report of judicial proceedings and was protected opinion." - Karl Olson