The following ABC News video discusses the lawsuit against Bristol Palin. Part of this lawsuit seems completely absurd, but the other could possibly have some merit. First of all, a reasonable person would not take Bristol’s stupid “is it because you’re a homosexual” comment seriously. It was in the middle of an argument with someone that she obviously didn’t know. If it happens to be the truth, then it’s not defamation. But even if it’s not true, a reasonable person can’t tell she was not making any kind of factual claim. She just chose a completely stupid random insult. Bristol Palin ain’t exactly smart, but she didn’t break the law by calling some stranger a homosexual.
The second part of the lawsuit may have merit. The plaintiff claims that he did not know he or anyone else in the establishment was being filmed for a TV show. Normally, using someone’s name or likeness without permission for the purposes of filming a TV show could be a legal violation. At the very least, the TV show filming this argument and other things that night should put up signs stating that customers are consenting to appearing on camera if they choose to stay in the establishment.
Now, as to whether the man knew that there was filming going on, that is impossible to say without more facts.