Couple who defamed Texas wedding photog must pay $1M

Andrea Polito was awarded $1.08 million Friday after winning a defamation suit against a couple whose wedding she had

A couple of weeks after the wedding, the Moldovans pioneered a social media crusade against Polito and her company, which resulted in Polito winning $1.08 million in a defamation lawsuit.

When the verdict came in on July 28 in Dallas County, it marked the end of a years-long battle between wedding photographer Andrea Polito and lifestyle blogger, Neely Moldovan, and her husband, Andrew Moldovan. The Moldovans took to local news and social media, claiming Polito was holding their images hostage, and nearly immediately Polito's business and reputation began to suffer. But after weeks of emails and the Moldovans objecting to the $125 cost for the cover, Polito decided she wouldn't make them pay, Dallas News reported.

According to WFAA, the Moldovans claimed Polito was demanding "unreasonable fees"-despite it being included in the contract they signed". Andrea Polito sued the couple as her business was completely ruined after they launched an extensive shaming campaign against her via social media. The couple was suppose to select a cover photo and submit an order form, which they had not done. He said the couple had no interest in speaking to reporters. "I wasn't a new business, I was an established business with a reputation that was well-respected in the Dallas community". I've shot several of the Dallas elites.

"No one is saying you can't go and write a review", Polito's attorney, Dave Wishnew said. "But those protections don't extend to a concerted campaign created to defame and destroy someone's hard-earned business", he said.

In one year, her business typically booked between 75 and 100 weddings.

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The jury found the couple became upset and took to the internet and used the local news to lie about what happened.

The Moldovans were found liable for disparagement, defamation and civil conspiracy, reports WFFA. "They took that away from me", Polito said. "As a small business owner you have two choices - you can either give in every time a client threatens you or you can fight back and that's what I did".

The jury awarded Polito $1.08 million in damages for the Moldovans' malicious, defamatory and disparaging statements, according to court documents. When the verdict was read I felt a little bit relieved, but most importantly I feel my reputation was restored to myself.

This ignited a social media campaign and press tour that focused on the Moldovan's version of the story and eventually led to the demise of Polito's company, according to the photographer. "What's been so hard the past couple of years has been feeling so ashamed of this story".

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