Howard Stern

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That's right, folks.

It's been nearly two years since journalist Rita Cosby released that steamy Anna Nicole Smith tell-all and today, a judge granted Smith's former paramour, Howard K. Stern, the freedom to move forward with the defamation lawsuit he brought about so long ago.

Let's recap a bit (on the off chance that some of us just may not remember the issues at hand):

More than six months after her tragic passing, Cosby's Blonde Ambition: The Untold Story Behind Anna Nicole Smith's Death hit shelves and rocked the world of everyone close to her—mainly former paternity foes, Stern and Anna Nicole-ex, Larry Birkhead.

The exposé claimed, among countless other things, that the two men were involved intimately, and the following weeks were filled with legal threats and a "complaint," which has officially matriculated into a full-blown lawsuit.

Today, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin ruled that Stern's defamation case could move ahead on 11 of the 19 libelous statements made by Cosby.

While Chin acknowledged that gays and lesbians still suffer many prejudices in the world, the judge excluded all implications of homosexuality as defamatory, explaining: "I respectfully disagree that the existence of this continued prejudice leads to the conclusion that there is a widespread view of gays and lesbians as contemptible and disgraceful."

Lawyers on both sides were pleased with the outcome of today's hearing, albeit for very different reasons.

Said Cosby's lawyer, Elizabeth McNamara: "As to the remaining statements, we are fully confident that a jury will dismiss them as well once it hears all the evidence surrounding Howard K. Stern's life with Anna Nicole Smith."

Lin Wood released a statement from Stern's camp, as well: "Defamation cases brought by public figures, such as Mr. Stern, only go to a jury in the most egregious of cases, and Judge Chin has found the case against Cosby to be one of those cases."

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