Photographer wins $1 million defamation lawsuit against unhappy couple

Couple who accused wedding photographer of holding their photos hostage in feud over $125 fee must now pay her ...

Wedding photographer Andrea Polito has been awarded $1.08 million by a jury in her defamation lawsuit against a couple who launched a public campaign against Polito over her $150 album cover charge.

A U.S. couple who waged an online campaign against their wedding photographer have been ordered to pay her more than $1.2m in damages.

Polito said in her lawsuit that the couple repeatedly asked that their high-resolution wedding photos be forwarded to them, but the contract stipulated that they first submit an order form for their wedding album.

The Moldovan's were upset over a required $125 fee for a cover for their wedding album - an item they said was not on their contract and should have been included in the cost of their wedding album.

Politico went on to sue the couple and this week, a Dallas judge ordered that they pay the $1.08 million "for acting out of malice to disparage her and her business".

"I was paying cash everywhere because I didn't want people to see my name on my credit card", Polito said. When she reached out to the couple several days later, she learned they'd already contacted several news outlets to complain that she'd been "holding their photos hostage", according to the suit.

In a statement to PEOPLE, Neely says the couple believes they were merely defending themselves. Not wanting to pay the money, Polito said she eventually made a decision to "absorb the cost to satisfy her customers", according to the Dallas Morning News.

Polito told Dallas News that the couple had ruined her business. I've shot several of the Dallas elites.

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"The lies and rumors got so harsh that Yelp began removing reviews, including one accusing Polito of giving the reviewer AIDS."

Polito's attorney Dave Wishnew of Gruber Elrod Johansen Hail Shank LLP said that the jury concluded the case after a few hours of deliberation.

The photographer went from booking 75 and 100 weddings a year, to just two. "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 sided with Polito in the case, finding the Moldovans liable for defamation, disparagement and civil conspiracy.

"No one is safe from this", she told the Dallas News.

"My business was destroyed", Polito said.

"I'm emotionally exhausted. This has been a very long battle", she said.

"Proud to say that after a week long, hard fought trial, the jury returned a verdict of over $1 Million, including punitives, for Andrea Polito, who was defamed by two bad, shameful people", Polito's attorney, Dave Wishnew, writes. After 13 years in business, basically overnight, this couple had destroyed her wedding photography business because they did not read their contract, or did not care what the contract stated.

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