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Ex-boyfriend files defamation lawsuit against Minn. legislator

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ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (KFGO-AM) - A Minnesota lawmaker from Alexandria is being sued for defamation by her ex-boyfriend, Republican party executive Eric Harpel. The lawsuit claims Harpel's reputation was ruined after Republican Rep. Mary Franson made false statements about Harpel in a petition she filed for a restraining order.

Harpel says Franson falsely accused him of stalking her, threatening her and sending her lewd emails, text messages, photos and videos. The lawsuit also claims Franson illegally accessed and deleted Harpel's emails.

Harpel says Franson's statements "Deeply harmed my family's long standing and very highly regarded reputation."

Harpel is seeking damages in excess of $50,000. Franson's attorney has asked that the entire complaint be denied.

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