In a 1997 slander lawsuit, Wendy Davis, the likely Democratic nominee for Governor, claimed that what she considered false reporting by the Ft. Worth Star Telegram had resulted, in the words of the lawsuit: "Davis has suffered and is continuing to suffer damages to her mental health," 1200 WOAI news reports.
Davis, who was then a 33 year old Ft. Worth attorney who had lost her first political bid, to be elected to the Ft. Worth City Council, sued the Star-Telegram, which is the major daily newspaper in Ft. Worth, claiming that its coverage of the election, in which the newspaper endorsed her opponent. In her lawsuit, Davis claimed that the editors of the newspaper 'knew the articles and editorials would, in reasonable probability, result in harm to the reputation of Wendy Davis.'
READ WENDY DAVIS' LAWSUIT:
"The statements made about Davis and her candidacy were not true, reasonable, and fair comments of criticism of her and her candidacy," the lawsuit states. "The comments were actuated by actual malice and knowledge of the falsity of some of the statements made, and with reckless disregard whether some of the statements were false or not."
In her request for 'significant damages' against the newspaper, Davis' attorneys wrote, "as a result of the actions described above, Davis has suffered and is continuing to suffer damages to her mental health, her physical health, her right to pursue public offices in the past and in the future, and to her legal career."
A request to Rebecca Acuna, the spokeswoman for Davis' campaign for governor, to comment about whether Davis received treatment for the 'damages to her mental health' and whether she still suffers from mental health issues,' was not returned.
"I think this lawsuit is a window into Wendy Davis' soul' said one Republican strategist who asked not to be identified.
Democrats dismiss the mental health claim, saying claims like that are 'boilerplate' in lawsuits and should not be taken literally.
Davis' lawsuit was dismissed by the local, appellate, and eventually by the State Supreme Court.