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Amy Jacobson Still Unemployed, Sues CBS 2

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 8, 2008 3:52PM

Amy JacobsonIt's been a year since former NBC 5 reporter Amy Jacobson appeared in a bikini at the home of Craig Stebic, husband of still-missing Lisa, a move that resulted in Jacobson's release from NBC 5. Now, she's fighting back against the rival network that aired a videotape of the incident. Jacobson and husband Jaime Anglada filed a $1 million lawsuit yesterday against CBS 2 for airing the infamous tape, claiming she has been unable to find work since the incident because CBS 2 portrayed her as "an adulteress and disreputable reporter." Chicago's personal Smoking Gun, Eric Zorn, has the court papers which claim the following:

  • Seven parties, including CBS Broadcasting, several CBS 2 employees, a Northwestern University professor, and the owner of the home from which the video was shot are named as defendants.
  • Jacobson's four year-old son still cries when her unemployment is mentioned.
  • The tape had 150,000 viewers in its first day and led to "more than a million stories and comments" on the internet.
  • The Law & Order episode based on the incident reflected an industry-wide perspective of Jacobson as an "unethical person" and further hindered her career.
  • CBS 2 attempted to pass the tape off as theirs even though it was shot by a neighbor, defendant Tracy Reardon, who "had a grudge against Craig Stebic and intensely disliked Amy Jacobson."

The papers turn downright catty at one point: "Even the well-known and discredited CBS defense of 'fake but accurate' won't work this time; because the story is both fake and inaccurate." Rowr. The papers also detail Jacobson's alleged rise from food stamps to six-figure salary as well as some behind-the-scenes chicanery between CBS 2 and NBC 5 regarding each other's coverage of the Stebic story prior to the Jacobson brouhaha.

So who's at fault, readers? Did CBS 2 portray her unfairly? Is the knock to her reputation unfair or did she bring this upon herself? [Trib, S-T]