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American wine critic faces criminal libel charges in France

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  1. Libel and Privacy
A French judge has begun investigating criminal libel charges brought against U.S. wine critic Robert Parker.

A French judge has begun investigating criminal libel charges brought against U.S. wine critic Robert Parker.

Parker’s former assistant, Hanna Agostini, filed the lawsuit in Paris last year, claiming that Parker made disparaging remarks about her on his Web site in November 2007, the Associated Press reported. Parker wrote that Agostini, who is being investigated for alleged forgery in a wine-trafficking incident, “could end up stagnating in prison,” according to The Associated Press.

Agostini filed two defamation actions against Parker. A judge ruled on the first action in March that Parker had violated Agostini’s “presumption of innocence” and fined him 2,000 euros (almost $3,000.) The second action was criminal libel, which the judge began investigating last week, Decanter magazine reported .

Agostini had translated several of Parker’s books into French, and after ending her work with him co-wrote a critical book, “Robert Parker: Anatomy of a Myth.” Parker is known for his wine reference book, “Parker’s Wine Buyer’s Guide” and his publication, the Wine Advocate