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Judge dismisses defamation lawsuit filed against Star, reporter
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Judge dismisses defamation lawsuit filed against Star, reporter

A defamation lawsuit filed against the Star and one of its reporters has been dismissed.

Ron Bell, of Oro Valley, accused the Star and reporter Caitlin Schmidt of making "false statements" in news reports about a legal fight between him and former UA assistant basketball coach Josh Pastner, according to the lawsuit filed in March in Pima County Superior Court.

Schmidt wrote several news stories about Bell and his legal fight with Pastner, a former Arizona Wildcats basketball player who is now the head coach at Georgia Tech.

In December the Star filed a motion to dismiss Bell's lawsuit. On Friday, Pima County Judge Janet C. Bostwick agreed.

Pastner’s lawsuit against Bell and fiancee Jennifer Pendley claims the pair tried to blackmail him over the course of several months. The couple filed a counterclaim claiming Pastner sexually assaulted her in 2016 and groped her on various occasions. Both cases have since been dismissed, with no money changing hands.

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