Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2014

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Newton asks Silverman penalties

Entertainer Wayne Newton Monday asked for court sanctions against former NBC President Fred Silverman, who failed to appear for a deposition last week in the entertainer's defamation lawsuit against the network in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, charging that Silverman deliberately ignored a court order forcing him to give the deposition last Thursday in New York. Galane did not specify the sanctions.

Silverman, who resigned from NBC last Wednesday, tried to delay his deposition during a court hearing in Las Vegas last week until the authenticity of two purported NBC memos, suggesting a conspiracy between the network and Johnny Carson to discredit Newton, could be determined.

In a sworn affidavit, Silverman charged that the two memos in which he allegedly outlined the conspiracy to NBC reporter Brian Ross last September were "complete forgeries."

Meanwhile, Galane also filled a motion asking to delay Newton's scheduled deposition Wednesday in Las Vegas. Newton currently is performing at Resort International in Atlantic City.

U.S. Magistrate John O'Brien set a hearing on the motion for 2 p.m. Tuesday.

In his motion for sanctions, Galane said Silverman's attorneys gave him a letter after the hearing last week, telling him Silverman could not make the deposition in New York because he was in Hawaii and his schedule was too busy.

But Galane said a New York Times story on Silverman's resignation later mentioned that the onetime network programming whiz was vacationing in Hawaii.

In court action last month, Galane attached copies of the two reputed NBC memos to notices of deposition for Silverman, Ross and Silverman's secretary, Mary Balton.

The documents allegedly said Carson had asked the network to take "whatever steps may be necessary" to investigate to purchase the Aladdin Hotel.

Carson was named as a co-conspirator - but not a defendant - in Newton's suit last April against the network in connection with an October NBC report alleging Newton had ties to organized crime. The broadcast aired several days after the Nevada Gaming Commission gave Newton permission to operate the Aladdin.