Chaunce Hayden has gotten Richard Johnson and the Post into quite the mess. The gossip columnist for Jersey's Steppin' Out magazine is all over a $10 million lawsuit filed against the paper, Johnson, and Hayden filed yesterday. The plaintiff is Lynsi Smigo, the fiancée of Gregg Hughes, a.k.a. "Opie" of XM Radio's "Opie & Anthony" show. According to the complaint, not only did Hayden give Johnson a false story for "Page Six" about Smigo's having filmed a sex tape with Jackass star Bam Margera, but after the story was denied, Hayden went on to publish a column, perform interviews, and willfully spread the tale. This, of course, left Ms. Smigo "humiliated, ashamed, depressed, angry and violated," as it reached almost everyone she knows and "millions of other people she does not know."
We're guessing Hayden
(also a foe of his former boss Howard Stern) doesn't have $10 million to throw around, but the Post's owner, News Corp., could probably pony it up. In the meantime, "Page Six" has learned its lesson and long ago stopped publishing items planted by the Steppin' Out columnist. "Rush & Molloy" over at the Daily News, however, doesn't seem to mind the price tag that gossip from him may carry — they were publishing bits from him as recently as yesterday.