The Free Press, Mankato, MN

June 21, 2013

Parts of Journey guitarist's suit dismissed against former Waseca mayor

Former Waseca mayor being sued

By Amanda Dyslin
adyslin@mankatofreepress.com

---- — WASECA — A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed all except one count in Journey guitarist Neal Schon's lawsuit against a Waseca woman.

Schon filed a federal lawsuit in March against his ex mother-in-law, former Waseca mayor Judy Kozan, alleging she libeled him in blog posts. Schon claims that Kozan suggested in her blog that he failed to adequately support his ex-wife, Kozan's daughter, and their children.

Judge Patrick J. Schiltz oversaw a hearing in Minneapolis June 5 regarding a motion by Kozan's attorney, Paul Godfread, to dismiss the complaint. The judge dismissed all three counts without prejudice except for a piece pertaining to Kozan's blog statement as follows: “As I write this, he has put his ex in a situation where she literally has no money for food, gas for the car, bills, nothing.”

Kozan — who said she cannot comment on the case until it's over — has claimed in court that her blog never named the people involved, nor did it identify relationships. The post has since been removed.

Godfread also declined to comment, but said as far as he is aware the lawsuit is moving forward based on that one statement.

According to a report in the Star Tribune in March, Kozan blames a British tabloid, the Daily Mail, for the controversy when it published that Kozan considers Schon a deadbeat dad.

“I have never called him a deadbeat dad, and I have never accused him of not making his payments. He makes them religiously,” Kozan told the paper.

The lawsuit — seeking unspecified damages in excess of $75,000 — states that Schon has paid his ex-wife Amber more than $1.3 million over the past five years. Schon alleged that Kozan acted with actual malice in her postings and that she knew the tabloids would pick up the story. He also accused her of invading his privacy.

Neal and Amber Schon were married in 2001 and divorced in 2007. Schon is now engaged to “Real Housewives of D.C.” reality star Michaele Salahi. Salahi is known for attending a White House dinner in 2009 uninvited.