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Lawsuit filed against Smothers’ attorneys

Christina Proctor

A Yerington woman who is suing her former stepfather, comedian Tommy Smothers, for childhood sexual abuse, is now charging his Los Angeles lawyers in federal court with libel, malicious defense of their client and abuse of the legal process.

Alana Monson, 27, formerly Alana Monson DeLima, alleges in the complaint, filed Feb. 2 in federal district court in Reno, that Smothers’ lawyers, Dale F. Kinsella and Jill Rosenthal of the firm Kinsella, Boesch, Fujikawa & Towle, engaged in hardball defense tactics in order to make her life miserable, to increase the cost of litigation, and to ultimately frustrate and defeat her claim.

The lawsuit further states that Smothers’ lawyers sent packages of documents containing private and personal information about Monson, some of it false, to individuals for the purpose of embarrassing and harming her.



The packages were allegedly sent without a proper Nevada subpoena to individuals like Monson’s child-care provider, her doctors, her mother, her boyfriend’s employer, law enforcement agencies, and her place of employment.

Some of the information the lawsuit claims was sent to these individuals includes Monson’s early memories of childhood sexual abuse, allegations that she admitted to telling lies in the past, and her course of psychotherapy.



The lawsuit claims that Smothers’ attorneys invaded Monson’s right to privacy by the public disclosure of embarrassing private facts, and exhibited bad faith and malicious defense in the publication of those facts that was not warranted by law. Furthermore, the lawsuit states Smothers’ attorneys abused the legal process by publishing the information with the ulterior purpose of harassing and injuring Monson, not to gather evidence in the case.

Monson is seeking punitive, compensatory, and general damages from the law firm in excess of $225,000.

When called for comment this week, Kinsella said he had yet to see the complaint and couldn’t speak on the allegations. Monson’s attorney, Joseph Cronin confirmed that Kinsella and his law firm had been served with the lawsuit.

Monson filed her lawsuit against Smothers in March 1996 in El Dorado Superior Court. The action alleges that on at least three separate occasions, when she was about 4 years old, Smothers touched her inappropriately. Two of those times, Monson claims, occurred while the family was vacationing at Lake Tahoe.

Monson’s sister, Murlyne Wilcock, 30, also filed a complaint against Smothers in September 1997 alleging sexual abuse on at least one occasion. The sisters claim the alleged incidents occurred while Smothers was married to their mother in the early 1970s. A judge agreed to combine the sisters’ complaints on Jan. 13. The trial date is set for Oct. 6.

Wilcock and Monson are seeking monetary and punitive damages from Smothers.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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