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Wine Critic Robert Parker Faces Defamation Charges

Could this be the Judgment of Paris II?

The Associated Press reported that renowned American wine critic Robert Parker is facing preliminary charges in Paris for alleged defamation against his former assistant, Hanna Agostini. French officials speaking on condition of anonymity said the charges stem from Parker’s comments on his website that Agostini “could end up stagnating in prison” for alleged forgery charges she faces in a wine-trafficking case revolving around the Belgian wine trader, Geens.

It’s a soap opera. Parker, the former Baltimore lawyer who has his nose insured for a million dollars and is now known as the “Emperor of Wine,” fired Agostini in 2003 amid allegations of false accounting. Last year, Agostini released a scathing biography on Parker in French, entitled, Robert Parker: Anatomie d’un Mythe (Robert Parker: Anatomy of a Myth). In it, she accuses the wine guru of several indiscretions, including discrepancies in his ratings, recycled wine reviews, and cozying up to Bordeaux producers.

Obviously incensed by Agostini’s thrashing of his integrity, Parker allegedly wrote some comments about her on his website (I didn’t see them), and now faces defamation charges. I have some opinions on the subject, but I’ll keep them to myself for fear of French lawsuits. But I will say that this story sounds much more appealing than the schlocky plot of Bottle Shock, and I can see Alan Rickman doing a mean Robert Parker impersonation.

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“Wine Critic Robert Parker Faces Defamation Charges”