Nebraska Republican gubernatorial hopeful Charles Herbster has followed through on a threat and filed a slander lawsuit against one of 8 women who’ve accused him of fondling or kissing them against their will.
State Senator Julie Slama is the only one of the 8 interviewed for a story by the Nebraska Examiner to release her identity.
The suit filed in state court on Friday describes Herbster as “the victim of a politically motivated and groundless attack by a political opponent, who resorted to false and malicious lies” accusing him of scandalous behavior to derail his campaign.
Slama’s attorney, Dave Lopez, says any claim that calls into question her account that Herbster reached his hand under her dress at a GOP event would be “categorically without merit and frivolous.”
Lopez also says Slama “will stand strong against any attempt to weaponize the judicial process to scare victims from coming forward to share the truth.”
Herbster has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and is using a law firm also used by Trump, who has routinely filed defamation suits against women who have made similar and worse accusations against him.
The lawsuit says Slama acted with “actual malice” and that her statements constitute “slander per se” because her accusation relates to a “crime of moral turpitude.”
The suit says it wants to restore Herbster’s good name and reputation while showing that the claims are false, calling it “not a coincidence” that the accusations were made just days before the primary election.
Slama has endorsed Jim Pillen, one of Herbster’s two primary opponents in the primary, as has Gov Pete Ricketts. Slama worked for Ricketts’ 2018 reelection campaign and was appointed to the legislature by him.
Herbster and his lawsuit imply Ricketts orchestrated the groping allegations, but stop short of actually accusing him of it.