Former NBC reporter loses lawsuit against CBS after they aired footage of her in a bikini at the house of a suspected murderer whose case she was covering
- Lisa Jacobson was an NBC reporter in Chicago who was covering the disappearance of mother-of-two Lisa Stebic in the spring of 2007
- She was fired after footage revealed she swam at the pool of Stebic's estranged husband Craig who was later named as a person-of-interest
- Jacobson has sued rival station CBS for defamation after they aired the footage
- A Chicago court threw out the suit saying she did not prove that anything in the footage was untrue
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 11:13 EST, 5 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:53 EST, 5 July 2013
A journalist has lost the libel lawsuit she filed against a rival station after they aired footage of her in a bikini at a pool party at the home of a man who is a person of interest in the case of his wife's disappearance.
Amy Jacobson was an on-air reporter for Chicago's NBC affiliate when the local CBS station aired footage of her lounging at a July 6, 2007 pool party at the home of Craig Stebic.
Craig's wife Lisa disappeared in April 2007 and he refused to speak to police for much of the investigation.
The video: Stills show Amy Jacobson in her bikini at Craig Stebic's house that prompted the lawsuit
Caught on camera: Amy Jacobson worked for NBC when she was seen at the house of a man who was suspected of having something to do with his wife's disappearance months earlier
Just days after the pool party, CBS aired the footage of Jacobson and her children at the Stebic's pool; on July 12 Craig was formally named as a person of interest in the case.
Jacobson was fired after the footage aired, and she filed a libel lawsuit against CBS as well as Stebic's neighbor who filmed the video from their property.
In February 2009, a Cook County judge ruled that he would allow four counts of defamation to be considered by the courts, saying that 'the CBS newscaster presented the footage with statement made in the form of insinuations and questions regarding Jacobson activities while at the Stebic home'.
'These statements...suggest that Jacobson used improper methods in cultivating sources and obtaining stories,' Judge Elizabeth Budzinski wrote in her ruling.
Fighting back: Jacobson was then fired by NBC when CBS aired footage of her at 'person of interest' Craig Stebic's house and she has sued CBS for defamation, but that was just tossed out of court
Conflict: Craig Stebic's wife Lisa disappeared in April 2007, months before Lisa Jacobson was seen at his pool and a year before Jacobson's husband filed for divorce
The Chicago Tribune reports today that a different Illinois judge threw out the lawsuit, saying that some of the parts of the CBS report that Jacobson took issue with are 'constitutionally protected expressions of opinion'.
Judge Jeffrey Lawrence went on to write the Jacobson and her lawyer did not provide enough evidence to prove that the content was fabricated.
This does not seem like the end of the legal drama, however, as Jacobson seems intent on an appeal.
'We'd always figured there would be an appeal before this went to trial because there are too many issues,' Jacobson's lawyer Kathleen Zellner told The Tribune.
Since her firing, Jacobson has begun working as a radio journalist and was promoted to co-host for a local station in 2010.
Lisa Stebic is still missing and her case has not progressed since Craig was named as a person of interest.
Determined: Jacobson got a call from Stebic's sister who invited them over for a meeting to talk about the case and they went for a swim with their children
Stebic's body has never been found, and her relatives- as well as her two children- presume that she is dead.
She and Craig were in the middle of getting divorced when she didn't show up to pick up her then-10 and 12-year-old children at their school.
Troubled: Prior to her disappearance, Lisa Stebic told friends that if anything should happen to her, look at Craig
After her disappearance, friends and neighbors told of how Lisa had inquired about a domestic violence shelter, and said to one: 'If anything ever happened to me, look towards Craig'.
Jacobson was one of the two reporters who got access to Stebic in the days immediately following Lisa's disappearance, and he initially claimed his innocence. Police eventually raided his house in the middle of the night shortly after and found 24 guns.
According to Chicago magazine, a media relations consultant that was helping Lisa Stebic's family during the investigation told Stebic's neighbors to have fully charged video cameras aimed at his house at all times in case they spot anything suspicious.
On July 6, Jacobson was driving to the local swim club with her two sons when she got a call from Craig's sister Jill Webb who was visiting from Iowa with her family to support her brother.
She told the reporter that she was upset about some of the other network coverage of the case, and asked if she would like to talk about the case with them at Stebic's home.
Jacobson agreed after Webb said it would be fine for her to bring her two children with her to the home. At one point during the interview, Jacobson, Webb, and their five collective children all jumped in the pool.
She said that she and Stebic were never in the pool at the same time, and looking back she called the decision to go to a source's house in a bathing suit 'a horrible mistake' but maintains that there was nothing improper going on between she and the missing woman's husband.