Matt LeBlanc's Unfriendly Defamation Suit
Mon Aug 28,12:53 PM ET
Matt LeBlanc's tabloid tell-all may have told more than it should have.
The former Friends star has been sued for defamation by a stripper who claims LeBlanc made false statements about her sexual aggression and the duo's level of intimacy in a National Enquirer story published last August.
Stephanie Stephens filed the suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court Tuesday, claiming the Joey star "did intentionally slander" her and made "false statements" to the tabloid about their shared boozy night in a story titled, "Matt LeBlanc: My Wild Night With a Stripper."
The oddly cooperative story, for which the then-married LeBlanc not only fessed up the details of a drunken night at a strip club but also posed for remorseful, hand-wrenching photos, chronicled an almost-tryst with Stephens during a Canadian boys' night out.
"The stripper was all over me," he told the Enquirer. "I was drinking and she was crossing the line...She was in my face, pushing her breasts into me and grabbing my hands to go all over her body. She was telling me to caress her and in my head I'm thinking, 'What's going on?'"
While the paper cited a source claiming LeBlanc's behavior was fueled by both alcohol and cocaine, the actor strongly denied the latter claim.
"If I had been sober, perhaps I would have acted quicker, but I was pretty drunk...When I realized the situation that was unfolding, I felt I was being careless and irresponsible, and I had to get the hell out of there. The guys said a trap had been set for me and I fell right in it."
According to Stephens, the actor's retelling was not only inaccurate but slanderous, despite the fact that the stripper in question was never named in the story.
In her lawsuit, she denied the claims that LeBlanc was simply a hapless, strip joint-patronizing victim, claiming she never requested he "caress her" or engage in "sexual touching" and that she never gave the star a lap dance--at least, not while at work.
Adding to the potential sordidness of the night, and, if true, providing an explanation for LeBlanc's otherwise mild and inexplicable tell-all in the first place, Stephens hints in her lawsuit that a sexual relationship did occur that night.
According to the lawsuit, Stephens denied that she gave the Friend a lap dance "while working" and that any touching between the twosome did not take place "in a private room."
The suit also went on to deny that LeBlanc's "night of sexual debauchery happened at her place of employment."
Whether anything happened elsewhere is another story.
Per the suit, "all sexual contact between [LeBlanc] and [Stephens] took place in the privacy of [Stephens'] residence."
Stephens is seeking unspecified damages from the star, claiming his Enquirer tell-all caused her wage loss, general damage and loss of earning capacity. She has not named the tabloid in her suit.
For his part, LeBlanc has yet to speak out about the lawsuit.
In January of this year, just four months after the story hit the newsstands, the star separated from his wife of nearly three years, Melissa McKnight. The duo, who have one child together, filed for divorce in March.