updated 02/06/2008 AT 8:45 AM ET
•originally published 02/06/2008 AT 8:55 AM ET
On Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Edward A. Ferns ruled against dismissing a defamation suit against the TV psychologist, who is being sued by Surinamese brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, the Associated Press reports. The two had been questioned in the case involving the May 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba.
The brothers, who have claimed they had no involvement in Holloway’s disappearance, sued in December 2006, claiming defamation, invasion of privacy, emotional distress, fraud, deceit and civil conspiracy. They allege the Dr. Phil show altered portions of a taped conversation between Deepak Kalpoe and a private investigator to “create false, incriminating, and defamatory statements that the plaintiffs engaged in criminal activity against Natalee Holloway.”
According to their suit, the brothers also say the TV program inferred they assisted in killing Holloway and disposing of her remains.
In their dismissal motion, attorneys for CBS Television and McGraw argued that the Kalpoes’ legal reps did not meet deadlines to produce requested documents concerning the criminal case probe against the brothers in Aruba.
New Case Development
The judge’s decision came a day after ABC’s 20/20 broadcast footage featuring a secretly recorded conversation with Joran Van der Sloot, who also has been questioned by Aruban authorities regarding Holloway.
In the secretly obtained footage, Van der Sloot said Holloway was drunk and that she began shaking and slumped down on the beach as they were kissing. He goes on to say in the tape that her body was dumped in the ocean and would never be found.
Joseph Tacopina, a lawyer for Van der Sloot, told ABC News that his client was not responsible for Holloway’s death and his statements “are not a confession.” On Friday, Van der Sloot insisted in a phone call to a Dutch television show that he was lying when he described the night Holloway disappeared.