Posted on 18 March 2015. by Jones Bahamas
Veteran Broadcast Journalist Sherman Brown is taking a bold stand for freedom of the press in this country by counter suing the controversial Hedge Fund magnate Louis Bacon for injuries Brown says his professional reputation has suffered resulting from an Open Letter Bacon authored and published in the major daily newspapers.
Brown’s counter suit claims that on August 9, 2013 and August 12, 2013 Bacon caused to be published respectively, in The Tribune and The Bahama Journal, broadsheets certain allegations which have caused and continue to cause him harm in his profession.
Bacon has built an international reputation for having an army of lawyers led by the prestigious London law Firm, Schillings and Company, backed up by local law firm Graham Thompson and Company, which employs legal tactics which intimidates news media into staying off of his trail. The barrage of threats of law suits and commencement even of those which lack substance, are non the-less too costly for most media houses to defend.
Recently the formidable Wall Street Journal has broken ranks and written exposes on the alleged criminal happenings in currency money markets in respect of which Bacon’s Moore Capital Fund operations is reported to be center. This has led to American and British Law enforcement tightening their dragnet around what is being built up internationally to have been a major scam on the world currency money markets which netted billions of dollars in profits for the manipulators.
Bacon’s Moore Capital Fund is said to have been the beneficiary of information to which they are not entitled.
Since 2009, one of Bacon’s traders, who pleaded guilty to a pernicious insider trading scheme, is awaiting sentencing in London while Bacon’s company has shelled out over a $100 million in fines and settlement for wrongdoings on the financial markets.
In the meantime, Bacon is before the Supreme Court asking for Brown to be committed to prison for allegedly lying under oath on certain matters while being cross examined by Bacon’s attorneys in proceedings designed to find out information from Brown about an alleged conspiracy that Brown is involved to smear Bacon’s reputation.
Coincidently, in a new Supreme Court case by which Bacon now sues Brown for defamation in respect of six separate internet published articles, Brown fires back with a defense by which he not only debunks Bacon’s allegation of perjury, but offers factually verifiable information that shows justification for the facts and scope of the articles that Bacon references.
That being as it may, Brown denies being the author or publisher of the internet articles.
Brown is being raked over the coals by Bacon because a popular website with which Brown is associated, The Bahamas National, did several exposes on Bacon’s transactions and conduct of his international business. One of the articles scrutinizes Bacon’s genealogical link to one of the most nefarious leaders of the Ku Klux Klan in Wilmington, North Carolina. Colonel Roger B. Moore happens to be Bacon’s maternal great grandfather.
Bacon has never feigned his pride and love of Colonel Moore’s history. His hedge fund business carries the “Moore” name.
In recent times, Bacon reported to be worth more than $1.5 billion, has used his immense wealth to purchase the Orton Plantation in Wilmington where the “Moore” clan, his southern antebellum ancestors, was lord and master over hundreds of slaves. Bacon has spent more money to restore the plantation to its archetypal slave era.
Bacon had opened the door for his roots to be discussed when he spoke to the Audubon Society in New York in 2013 and wrapped himself in his fascination with the novel “Gone with the Wind” which he called his Holy Book.
Hardly had Bacon left the podium at the Audubon Awards that public protest rose in The Bahamas where a grass roots movement emerged to declare its disgust with Bacon’s remarks. Soon thereafter, an American civil rights leaders and others in Black America began a chorus of “shame, shame, and shame” and demanded that he repent and apologise.
Bacon has further incensed Bahamians by describing himself “as a white foreign outsider” who “led” a protest to save a former slave plantation in Nassau (now the Clifton National Heritage Park) from being sold to American developers and turned into a luxury gated community.
Leader of that original grass roots campaign, Attorney Keod Smith, has empathically stated publicly that Bacon lied about his “leader” claim. He was joined in that assessment with numerous others who formed a part of that leadership as well as well-respected members of the press who wrote numerous contemporaneous stories about the movement and contend that Bacon’s name never surfaced.
In the defamation action, Brown has now brought a counter-suit against Bacon who has said or implied in an open letter widely published, that Brown has conspired to Peter Nygard, the Canadian Fashion mogul, to create media to tarnish Bacon’s reputation. Bacon has said that Brown was being paid by Nygard through lawyer Smith.
Brown has denied this. He claims his journalism is not for sale and while he knows Mr. Nygard, his stories are balanced, fair and reflects the personal commentary that Brown says comes from his training and experience.
Keod Smith, attorney for Brown in this counterclaim says, “These are the contrasts that the court will have to look at. Are Bacon’s frontal assaults on the Bahamian people, the Bahamian government and the integrity of our institutions his personal play things? Are we living in a country where the super wealthy can just thrown their money and their weight around and abuse processes and hold themselves out as the paragons of innocence and integrity when we know better? Is it the right of the Bahamian people to know the facts a crime? Should Sherman Brown have to be made into a criminal and suffer verbal and legal abuse by Bacon because he is a dogged and determined journalist? I say no. Just because Bacon can elicit the unquestioned support of The Tribune newspaper, does not mean he can buy the journalists who work there. This counter claim is more about little David with a sling shot going up against this roaring mighty colossus Goliath. We all know the ending of the story. The Bahamas has come too far and we have so much opportunity to continue to build a great country and a peaceful and healthy and prosperous society. The same way Bacon came in, we invite him to leave. We sent him the tweet. Get Out and Stay Out”.
Bacon has several public relations and journalistic personnel in his employ.
The open letters of Bacon remains published on the website of “Save the Bays”, a pressure group which Bacon states in court papers was founded and financed by him.
With his mouthpiece for Save the Bays being controversial Attorney, Fred Smith, QC, some have expressed the belief that Bacon thinks he can say whatever he wishes about other people. But Fred Smith is having some challenges in the public arena in terms of his credibility for taking positions on behalf of Bacon which are foreign to the way of life of The Bahamas. As recent as this week, he has attempted to get the police to arrest Bahamian citizens who dared to make their theme at the 2015 New Year Junkanoo parade, the fact that Bacon, through his genetic heritage, is connected to the Ku Klux Klan.
“How can a man who denigrated black people, could have a right to use the police as his personal weapon simply because those very black people exposes the truth of his family heritage in the context of our culture which was predicated on slave people in The Bahamas being able to speak truth to power without even the then slave masters trying to stop them or punish them for such views. Now Bacon and Fred Smith want to openly trample on our constitutional right to free expression. Well, I say to Bacon: you can call me the great grandson of a slave, which I am, but I would not think that I am a slave. Why are you getting so riled up when someone else says…you, Bacon are the great grandson of a grand dragon of the KKK? Just condemn them and move on,” says Attorney Keod Smith.