Judge Peter K. Leisure of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York dismissed the case in its entirety, putting to an end the Church's of Scientology's $416 million lawsuit against TIME. In two previous decisions, Judge Leisure had dismissed all but one libel claim against the magazine. The remaining unresolved claim was dismissed today, ending the suit.
`Today's ruling brings to an end a long, intensely fought legal battle, which should never have been started in the first place,` said Floyd Abrams, counsel to TIME in the case. `Scientology's efforts to punish TIME for reporting about it have failed because of the First Amendment, and because of TIME's willingness to defend its article and not be intimidated by the Church's apparently limitless legal resources.`
The May 6, 1991 cover story garnered numerous awards and accolades for reporter Richard Behar, including the 1992 Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished business and financial journalism, the Worth Bingham Prize, and the Conscience in Media Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors.