Boston's Tom Scholz has reacted to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to reinstate his defamation lawsuit against the Boston Herald and Micki Delp, the ex-wife of Boston singer Brad Delp.
Both claimed Scholz played a significant role in causing Delp to commit suicide in 2007, and Scholz subsequently sued, with the cases being thrown out by lower courts. The Supreme Court declined to revive the cases, effectively an end-game for Scholz, who issued the following statement:
"Mr. Scholz has been fighting to clear his name and to hold the Boston Herald accountable for a series of false articles that wrongly blamed him for Brad Delp's suicide. He is disappointed that in denying Cert., the Court has decided to allow a tabloid newspaper to avoid having a jury decide the facts.
"As a result of Mr. Scholz' lawsuit, we now know, based largely on Brad's own final emails and suicide notes, that his tragic suicide resulted from difficulties in his own personal life, and were entirely unrelated to his working relationship with Mr. Scholz.
"Brad Delp revealed in his final suicide notes that he had been struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts since he was a teenager, he had difficulty sustaining close personal relationships which left him feeling lonely and isolated, and he had a number of devastating events in his personal life near the end that ultimately led to his decision to take his life.
"In particular, he revealed in final emails in the last week of his life as confirmed by witnesses that he installed a hidden video in his fiance's sister's bedroom, and was overcome by shame after she and her boyfriend discovered it. He begged his fiance's sister, Meg Sullivan, and her boyfriend, Todd Winmill, to forgive him, and keep it a secret from his fiance, Pamela Sullivan, but Meg Sullivan persisted in pressuring him to confess what he had done in spite of his belief that this would end his engagement to Pamela. On his last day, Brad had a tearful confrontation with his fiance's sister and boyfriend where Brad simply cried and repeated, 'I'm sorry.' That afternoon he purchased two charcoal grills. After calling his fiance later that night, he lit the grills and asphyxiated himself.
"Based on these undisputed events immediately prior to Brad Delp's death, Mr. Scholz disagrees that the cause of Brad's suicide is unknowable. Mr. Scholz believes this decision will have adverse consequences well beyond his case against the Herald because it regrettably means that people are largely free to accuse another of causing someone's suicide, even when, as here, the accusation is false. In the end, Mr. Scholz remains saddened by the loss of his friend and bandmate, Brad Delp."
Boston is touring this year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its landmark debut album, which has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.