sweet vengeance. yonge streetlaundromat owner André Fiset got his this week against queer mag Xtra, against which Fiset launched a $1.5-million libel suit after the paper ran two unflattering articles back in 1996 about Fiset's various legal squabbles.
The case was set to go to trial this week, but Xtra decided instead to settle out of court, paying an undisclosed (but apparently "substantial") sum to Fiset, and agreeing to publish a public apology in three upcoming issues.
It says in part that the articles about Fiset "were inaccurate and contained many omissions."
In the end, the two main sources Xtra had relied on for the stories abandoned the paper. They filed their own suits against Xtra alleging that statements attributed to them in the stories about Fiset were erroneous, and that if they were said they were made in strict confidence.
Questions remain about Xtra's handling of the stories. Why, for example, did the paper not publish any meaningful part of a four-page letter Fiset faxed to the paper that essentially put the lie to the allegations about to be published about him?
Xtra lawyer Christopher Wirth declined to comment when reached by NOW Tuesday. Xtra publisher David Walberg also did not respond to a request for comment.
Most telling for Fiset is the fact that Xtra also agreed to drop its own libel suit against him over a letter Fiset wrote to the other gay mag, fab!, about his case.
"They acted so high-handedly throughout this whole thing," Fiset says.