Magazine not protected from revealing source

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A federal appeals court ruled Friday
that Alabama's shield law does not protect Sports Illustrated from
having to identify a confidential source in a defamation suit by
former University of Alabama football coach Mike Price.
But the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the anonymous
source the magazine relied upon in an article about Price is
"almost certainly" one of three women whose names have surfaced
in the case. Before the magazine has to disclose the source,
Price's attorneys must question them under oath about whether they
were the source for the 2003 story, the appeals court said.
The story quoted the source as saying Price had sex with two
women in a hotel after getting drunk at a topless bar in Pensacola,
Fla. Price has admitted having too much to drink but denied under
oath the magazine's report about having sex.
The three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit, siding with a federal
district judge in Birmingham, held that Alabama's shield law
specifically mentions protecting newspapers and broadcast news
operations from having to disclose confidential sources, but does
not mention magazines and therefore does not cover them.
Price attorney Stephen Heninger called the ruling "a huge
decision for us" and said one of the three women cited by the
court -- Lori "Destiny" Boudreaux -- has already told him she was
the source. He said the admission was in a sworn affidavit.
"She was the confidential source. She will say that. That's
what we wanted all along," Heninger said.
Rick McCabe, a Sports Illustrated spokesman, said they are
"disappointed that the court concluded that the Alabama shield law
does not apply to magazines."