Daly says 'factually incorrect' story financially impacted him, family


INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Former IndyCar driver and racing analyst Derek Daly has filed a more than $25 million lawsuit against WISH-TV and parent company Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.

On Friday, Eyewitness News spoke with Daly, who maintains the company had a reckless disregard for the truth when, after firing him, they reported that Daly confirmed he used a racial slur during an interview with former Colts announcer Bob Lamey.

Daly says he did not confirm the conversation and insists it never happened. He says, however, he did inform the company in writing of a different time he used the slur, 35 years ago.

After saying it, Daly, who grew up in Ireland, says he was told that word was not acceptable in the states and he says he never used it again.

Daly says the TV report got it wrong.

"Lamey's story had nothing to do with Derek Daly. His blatant, racial slur had nothing to do with the context of 35 years ago with Derek Daly. When I realized the facts that they used were completely wrong, I mean, what could I do? I told them 'you have to retract this immediately because this is factually incorrect,'" Daly said.

Daly said the company refused and that's cost him and his family.

"Once you are tagged with a racial label, everything got canceled and so I had to close my office, my assistant was gone. It had a material impact on me and my income and my life. And the collateral damage was my son, Conor. Suddenly, a major corporation, Lilly, decides to pull its sponsorship because why? They were all in a no-win situation, all caused by a story that was factually incorrect."

Daly said he is 60,000 words into a new book called "Race to Judgment" based on this incident.

Eyewitness News reached a spokesperson at WISH-TV who said the company has a policy of not commenting on personnel issues.

Filed under: