If the NYT accurately reported these former associates's statements, particularly when they were corroborated by separate sources, I don't see how she can claim that it's defamation. Obviously, I am no expert in this area. I'm sure her attorney is, so he must think there is something to this. I see her doing it because she wants people to think, "Ahh, she's filed a lawsuit. She must NOT have had an affair with McCain."