The star is seeking $40 million from the National Enquirer over its current cover story

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated February 16, 2005 08:00 AM

Ashley Olsen is suing the National Enquirer for $40 million, accusing the tabloid of libel and false light invasion of privacy over its current cover story that claims she was “caught in a drug scandal.”

Olsen, 18, accuses the Enquirer of publishing a misleading cover headline and photo that made her appear “drugged,” but the actress “does not use or sell drugs,” according to her lawsuit, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Inside, the Enquirer story claims to have uncovered documents that link Ashley’s boyfriend of five months, Scott Sartiano, “to alleged drug dealing.” The story, however, does not say that Ashley was involved with using or selling drugs.

“Freedom of the press is a valuable right, but it is not a license for gossipy tabloids to tar and feather innocent celebrities and destroy their reputations and businesses for the rags’ profits,” the suit reads.

An attorney for Sartiano has not commented. Enquirer spokesman Stu Zakim told New York’s Daily News that the publication, in standing by its story, “will vigorously defend against a lawsuit.”

Last year, Ashley’s twin sister, Mary-Kate, threatened to sue American Media, which also publishes the Enquirer’s sister publication, the Star, over the latter tabloid’s story that claimed she was in rehab for a drug addiction, rather than an eating disorder.