Photographer Wins $1M Defamation Lawsuit Against Dishonest Couple

Couple who accused wedding photographer of holding their photos hostage in feud over $125 fee must now pay her ...

In a recent court ruling in Dallas, Texas, local wedding photographer Andrea Polito was recently awarded $1.08 million as a result of a defamation lawsuit she launched against formal bridal clients Neely and Andrew Moldovan, the result of a years-long online campaign to destroy the photographer's reputation.

To retaliate, they went on a social media rampage to trash the photographer's reputation, and on Friday, a judge ruled that they must now pay damages of a million dollars! . Although Polito said it was in the contract that the couple had to submit an order form and to choose a cover photo for their picture album, with a $125 fee for the cover, the Moldovans declined to pay that.

Polito, according to a lawsuit filed in March 2015, said the couple engaged in a "smear campaign", used negative publicity to "destroy" her business and even bragged online "they were, 'pretty sure her business is done'".

"I was thrilled", Wishnew says of the verdict. When she reached out to the couple several days later, she learned they'd already contacted several news outlets to complain that she'd been "holding their photos hostage", according to the suit. He also revealed that the couple is not interested in speaking with the media.

She told Dallas News that her 13-year-old business was ruined nearly overnight. "They took that away from me", Polito told the Dallas Morning News.

"No one is challenging a customer's right to express an opinion, or their point of view, or challenge their freedom of speech, but with that freedom comes consequences if you lie".

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"We are stunned. We did what consumer advocates say to do: When you are wronged, you fight back", the statement reads.

"People knew me and my reputation". The campaign included the couple taking their complaint to Dallas news stations.

Polito tells PetaPixel that prior to the NBC 5 story, her photography business was generating a "high six figures" from shooting photos alone (i.e.no coaching or seminars).

The couple also made "disparaging and defamatory statements" on social media and on wedding blogs, claiming the photographer "cheated" and "scammed people" and that their photos were being "held hostage".

More important than the monetary reward for Polito is hope that the jury's decision could mean a return to photographing weddings and her dream job.

Polito's attorney Dave Wishnew of Gruber Elrod Johansen Hail Shank LLP said that the jury concluded the case after a few hours of deliberation. "What's been so hard the past couple of years has been feeling so ashamed of this story".

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