Amy Cooper, the white woman dubbed “Central Park Karen” after accusing a black bird-watcher of threatening her in 2020, lost a lawsuit against her former employer claiming she was illegally fired and portrayed as a racist.
US District Judge Ronnie Abrams rejected Cooper’s claim on Wednesday that she was defamed when ex-employer Franklin Templeton, a holding company, axed her one day after the viral altercation in Central Park.
Cooper claimed that Franklin Templeton and its chief executive Jenny Johnson perpetuated her image as a “privileged white female ‘Karen’” by making public statements about firing her after conducting an investigation into the incident.
In May 2020, Cooper went viral after video showed her yelling at birder Christian Cooper and calling the police to claim an “African American man” was “threatening” her while she was walking her dog in Central Park.
Her suit, filed in May 2021, argued her call to cops had nothing to do with Christian’s race — but rather because the “overzealous birdwatcher” selected her as a “target” in a feud between bird and dog lovers.
Cooper was charged by the Manhattan District Attorney in July 2020 with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree. The charge was ultimately tossed by prosecutors after she attended therapy sessions on racial bias, however she still lost her job.
She had worked at Franklin Templeton as an insurance portfolio manager since 2015.
Cooper claimed in her suit that her former employer’s statements, which received over 200,000 likes on Twitter, implied that the company had uncovered details about her alleged racism not evident from the video, but the Manhattan judge disagreed.
“The contents of the viral video, as well as the dialogue surrounding it both in the media and on social media, were already matters of public knowledge,” rendering the defendants’ statements “inactionable as pure opinion,” Abrams wrote in his decision.
With Post Wires