Simcha Jacobovici’s lawsuit against Joe Zias opened in court in Israel today. Jacobovici alleges that Zias gave false information to National Geographic with the result that the channel refused to air Jacobovici’s film on the “Jesus Tomb.”
In October 2011, Jacobovici filed a defamation suit against his harshest critic, former Antiquities Authority official Joe Zias, claiming damage of NIS 8.57 million and demanding NIS 3.5m. The case was brought before Lod District Court Judge Ya’acov Sheinman.
The filmmaker claims that while others have disparaged his ideas in a reasonable manner, Zias went beyond legitimate debate and defamed him by initiating a broad-based campaign to directly sabotage lucrative contracts he had already signed and was executing.
Zias’s “tip-off” about some of Jacobovici’s alleged conspiracies came from Joanna Garrett, a woman who was originally a big supporter of Jacobovici’s theories, but who then fell out with him.
Jacobovici said that Zias contacted his broadcaster, National Geographic, his publisher, Simon & Schuster, as well as others, and defamed him with a wide array of false accusations, such as elaborate forgery, paying off people, and manipulating people and events to try to build his credibility.