Wedding photographer wins $1M in defamation suit against couple

Andrea Polito               CBS Dallas  Fort Worth

Andrea Polito CBS Dallas Fort Worth

According to CBS, a jury awarded photographer Andrea Polito $1 million because the couple had defamed her online and in the local news.

When the verdict came in on July 28 in Dallas County, it marked the end of a years-long battle between wedding photographer Andrea Polito and lifestyle blogger, Neely Moldovan, and her husband, Andrew Moldovan.

Polito said in her lawsuit that the couple repeatedly asked that their wedding photos be forwarded to them but the contract stipulated that they first submit an order form for their wedding album. But after weeks of emails and the Moldovans objecting to the $125 cost for the cover, Polito decided she wouldn't make them pay, Dallas News reported.

Evidence presented in court affirmed that Polito followed the terms of the contract signed by the couple and even sought to further explain the contract and satisfy their demands.

But the couple objected to the cost and after emailing them, Polito said she had made a decision to absorb the cost to keep her customers happy.

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This was the way it was for "several weeks", and Polito said she had planned just waive the fee, but, days later, accusations that her company was "holding their photos hostage" began swirling. The Moldovans said in 2015 some of the comments, or "likes", attributed to them were actually coming from fake profiles.

"In fact, the Moldovans were already meeting with NBC 5 and [reporter Scott] Gordon by the time Polito sent her January 14 [2015] email, dead set in their pursuit of publicity and public shaming", the complaint states.

Told Polito, 'People knew me and my reputation. "They took that away from me", Polito told Dallas News.

"No one is saying you can't go and write a review", her attorney Dave Wishnew told the outlet.

"We are stunned. We did what consumer advocates say to do: When you are wronged, you fight back", the statement reads.

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The jury sided with Polito in the case, finding the Moldovans liable for defamation, disparagement and civil conspiracy. Where she would normally book between 75 and 100 weddings in a season, that year, Polito said she booked only two.

At one point, the Moldovans conducted an interview with a Dallas news station and then publicized the story on social media and other platforms.

Reacted to the verdict, Polito said, 'I'm emotionally exhausted.

The Moldovan's not only spread false information but did so for monetary reasons, according to Wishnew, to try and boost traffic on the upset bride's beauty blog. "What's been so hard the past couple of years has been feeling so ashamed of this story".

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