Former American International Group CEO Hank Greenberg filed a lawsuit for defamation Friday against former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who is now running for Comptroller of New York City.
Greenberg, who is seeking $25,000 in damages, cites statements by Spitzer in May 2012 in reaction to a court order in a separate lawsuit requiring that the state provide discovery of the private email account Spitzer used to carry out political activities while serving as Attorney General. Spitzer, who during his tenure in that office had forced Greenberg out at AIG, responded to the court order by calling Greenberg “corrupt,” “crooked,” and “fraudulent.”
The complaint filed by Greenberg also cites allegedly defamatory statements made by Spitzer in July 2012, when he said that Greenberg had committed “fraud” at AIG and that he had been “removed” and “thrown out” by the board of AIG, all of which Greenberg denies.
In addition, the complaint charges Spitzer used “actual malice”–defined as “reckless disregard for the truth”–in his statements, referring to the high standard required in defamation actions by public figures.