Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has sued Washington City Paper over a column he claims defamed him and included anti-Semitic references.
Snyder filed the lawsuit against the weekly paper and its parent company, Atalaya Capital Management LP, in New York State Supreme Court on Wednesday. The suit seeks at least $1 million in damages for each of the two causes of action, plus punitive damages.
The story, entitled "The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder" and published in November, included an altered photo of Snyder with horns and a beard. Snyder's lawsuit claims the weekly newspaper used "lies, half-truths, innuendo and anti-Semitic imagery to smear, malign, defame and slander" him.
The suit also says the newspaper reported Snyder engaged in criminal conduct by "forging names."
Washington City Paper publisher Amy Austin, in a letter on the publication's website, said Snyder had been invited to compose a guest column responding to the article, meet with the editor to discuss his concerns or "provide information demonstrating that what we published was false."
Austin wrote that the only response was a letter this week from a prominent attorney advising that documents be retained for litigation.
The newspaper included facsimiles of correspondence with Snyder's representatives, including a letter from Redskins general counsel David P. Donovan to Atalaya Capital Management, in which he writes that "Mr. Snyder has more than sufficient means to protect his reputation and defend himself and his wife against your paper's concerted attempt at character assassination. We presume that defending such litigation would not be a rational strategy for an investment fund such as yours. Indeed, the cost of litigation would presumably quickly outstrip the asset value of the Washington City Paper."
Austin wrote the newspaper "reviewed (Snyder's representatives') complaints carefully, as we would with a suggestion by anyone that we had gotten something wrong. We believe we have the facts right."
In a post on the City Paper's website Wednesday, managing editor Mike Madden asserted the image "is meant to resemble the type of scribbling that teenagers everywhere have been using to deface photos for years," he wrote. "The image of Snyder doesn't look like an 'anti-Semitic caricature' -- it looks like a devil."
Snyder plans to contribute any monetary damages received to groups that assist the homeless, the lawsuit said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.