(HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has hit back hard against a $50 million defamation lawsuit brought by heavy metal rocker-turned-radio host and conservative preacher Bradlee Dean. Maddow and NBC Universal are looking to punish Dean for bringing an allegedly meritless suit by filing an anti-SLAPP motion to end the case and force him to hand over legal fees.

According to court papers filed this week in D.C. federal court, the defendants say, “With this lawsuit — his second — Dean seeks to move one step closer in his self-described mission to stop the ‘radical gay agenda.’ The law does not permit him to use the judicial process in this fashion.”

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