Dallas-based wedding photographer Andrea Polito has won a $1 million verdict in a defamation claim against two former clients, Neely and Andrew Moldovan. According to the case, the couple wrongfully attacked Polito through social media over what they alleged were unreasonable fees associated with the delivery of their wedding photos. According to reports, the jury found the couple's social media campaign to be false and malicious, and found the Moldovan's liable for defamation, disparagement and civil conspiracy.
A $125 album cover fee was at the center of the dispute, according to The Washington Post. In 2015, three months after the couple's wedding, they told NBC affiliate KXAS that Polito was demanding the extra album cover fee and "holding the pictures hostage," which they stated in an interview which ultimately led to a viral social media campaign that damaged the photographer's reputation.
The fee, however, was included in the couple's signed contract with Polito. Additional evidence presented in the claim affirmed that Polito followed the contract and also sought to further explain the contract and satisfy the couple's demands.
"I felt completely dead," Polito said in a recent interview with CBS. "It was my passion and I loved my clients and I loved what I did. My reputation was everything to me." While the Moldovan's can still repeal, Polito told the interviewers that she is relieved to have her reputation restored. Additionally, she says that she hopes her case serves as a lesson for other couples and photographers.
Look out for an extended interview with Polito coming soon to rangefinderonline.com.
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