A judge dismissed a slander charge against actor Alec Baldwin in a civil suit stemming from a 2018 parking spot dispute, according to court documents filed Thursday.
Wojciech Cieszkowski alleges Baldwin verbally and physically assaulted him over a parking spot and claimed the actor went on TV to discuss the matter and slandered him in the process.
in the ruling, New York state Judge Benjamin Cohen argues that Baldwin’s public words criticizing Cieszkowski were “words of frustration with someone’s driving” that didn’t portray the him in a positive light, but which didn’t warrant a slander charge.
The judge did not throw out Cieszkowski’s assault-and-battery accusations against the actor in the civil suit over last year’s confrontation.
“We are pleased with the decision,” Alex Spiro, one of Baldwin’s lawyers, told CNN about the dismissal over the phone.
“The heart of the case will now be moving ahead. Mr. Cieszkowski looks forward to holding Mr. Baldwin accountable in court,” said Doug Lieb, Cieszkowski’s attorney.
The two men fought over a parking space last year
On November 2, 2018, Cieszkowski parked his car on a street, shortly before Baldwin confronted him. The two men have argued throughout the past year about what exactly transpired that day.
Just after the altercation occurred, Baldwin was arrested on charges of assault and harassment.
According to reports at the time, the 49-year-old Cieszkowski was taken to a local hospital after sustaining injuries to his left jaw.
In January 2019, Baldwin plead guilty to a criminal charge of harassment after facing several charges.
On February 4, 2019, about four months after the two men’s parking space confrontation, Baldwin appeared on “The Ellen Show.”
According to the court documents, he told host Ellen DeGeneres, “Did I have an argument with the guy? Yeah. I thought he was going to run my wife over with his car when he was stealing my parking spot.”
On March 27, the documents say, Baldwin appeared on “The Howard Stern Show,” saying that Cieszkowski “aggressively” took the parking space, and that he thought he’d “hit my wife and son.”
Four days later, Cieszkowski filed a complaint which contained causes of action for assault, battery, as well as a slander charge, based on Baldwin’s televised comments.
Then this November, Baldwin sued Cieszkowski, arguing that Cieszkowski lied to police about the encounter and made defamatory statements about him.
Baldwin’s lawsuit disputes Cieszkowski’s claim that the actor shoved “him hard in chest with both hands.” Baldwin says he only lightly pushed him.
Baldwin and Cieszkowski are scheduled to appear in court on February 19 for a preliminary conference.