Slander suit is settled

September 29, 1992|By Eric Siegel | Eric Siegel,Staff Writer

As a radio talk show host, Lester Kinsolving is usually voluble, but he says he can't say much about the settlement of a $1.1 million slander suit he filed against City Councilman Carl Stokes for a comment Mr. Stokes made on another radio show last year.

Under the terms of the settlement, Mr. Stokes will issue what Mr. Kinsolving said yesterday would be "an apology" but what Mr. Stokes described as "a statement" before the City Council.

Mr. Kinsolving, host of "The Lester Kinsolving Show" weeknights on WCBM-AM (680), sued Mr. Stokes in Baltimore County Circuit Court in April 1991, claiming the 2nd District Democrat defamed him by calling him "Lester the kid molester" on a Sunday night talk show on the same station.

"I'm delighted that it's settled," Mr. Kinsolving said. "I would really love to say more, but there are certain things I can't say. I've agreed not to discuss the terms of the settlement.

"I will be there on Monday to accept the apology."

But Mr. Stokes said only, "I will make a statement at a future City Council meeting." He also declined to elaborate, saying, "Part of the settlement was not to talk about the settlement."

Told of Mr. Stokes' characterization of his planned remarks, Mr. Kinsolving, who bills his show as "uninhibited radio," said, "It's going to be an apology. It's not going to be 'Oh, it's too bad the O's didn't make it to the Series.' It's going to be a pregnant statement."

The barb in question came after discussions on both shows about last year's redistricting plan that resulted in five out of six councilmanic districts having a black majority.

According to the suit, Mr. Kinsolving, "with his typical sense of satire and humor," referred on his show to Mr. Stokes as "Master Stokes" and called City Council President Mary Pat Clarke "Mary Pat Poison."

Mr. Stokes, according to the suit, responded on "Baltimore in Focus," a show on which he was a participant, by saying Mr. Kinsolving was ignorant and calling him "Lester the kid molester."

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