The lawsuit Barry Bonds (pictured) filed against the San Francisco Chronicle, two of its reporters, Sports Illustrated and Gotham Books has quietly been withdrawn, the Mercury News reports. The suit wasn’t a libel action but rather a complaint under California’s unfair business practices laws, claiming the defendants would be unfairly enriched by using stolen grand jury transcripts. The Chron has argued that when it comes to using stolen grand jury transcripts, the ends justifies the means, in that the benefit of the stories exceeds the harm done by breaking the law.

The suit was all but dead on March 24 when San Francisco Superior Court Judge James Warren refused Bonds’ request to appoint a receiver to monitor book sales and take custody of all profits, according to the Chronicle’s account of that hearing. The judge said he saw no justification for any such action and said he feared the lawsuit would raise “serious First Amendment issues.”

Bonds’ attorney who filed the suit and then withdrew it was Allison Berry Wilkinson.

Another attorney for Bonds, Michael Rains, told the New York Daily News that his client will cooperate with a Congressional investigation into baseball and steroids if Bonds is assured that his testimony is not used by prosecutors, who are now investigating him for perjury. “I’d like Barry to cooperate with Sen. Mitchell,” Bonds’ attorney, Michael Rains, told the Daily News in New York. “We believe Sen. [George] Mitchell will be fair, thorough and impartial. But here’s the problem: Anything that happens there can become fodder for the federal government and for another book that will make reporters rich.”

SF Press Club News

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