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Random House of Canada files statement of defence in Conrad Black lawsuit

Random House of Canada today filed a statement of defence with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in a legal suit filed by Conrad Black.

The former media mogul is suing the publisher for defamation over the March 2012 publication of Bruce Livesey’s non-fiction book Thieves of Bay Street: How Banks, Brokerages and the Wealthy Steal Billions from Canadians. Black filed a $1.25-million lawsuit in June against Random House Canada, its publisher and vice-president Anne Collins, two editors, and Livesey, claiming that the book’s publication brought Black into hatred, ridicule and contempt in Canada.

In a statement, Louise Dennys, executive publisher of the Knopf Random Canada Publishing Group, says, “Today we are compelled to respond to Mr. Black’s libel suit against our author Bruce Livesey, our editors, and Random House of Canada. Our house has a longstanding reputation for publishing non-fiction works on matters of serious public interest, and as a publisher, we have a responsibility to defend our authors from attempts to silence them. We do regret that Mr. Black, a fellow author, has determined to use the court to express his disagreement with Random House, but we will fully defend ourselves and our right to publish.

Random House of Canada also owns McClelland & Stewart, which published Black’s 2011 memoir, A Matter of Principle.