By now, Alan B. Levan has watched the "20/20" broadcast that a court says libeled him dozens of times.

This time, the controversial Florida banker viewed it before a handful of reporters in the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

As Mr. Levan explained to a handful of reporters how the ABC news magazine destroyed his life, he used a remote control to show it yet again.

"I get this uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach which makes me feel very defenseless and helpless to the accusations being made," said Mr. Levan, chairman and chief executive officer of Bank Atlantic Financial Corp., Fort Lauderdale. "... It makes me quiver every time I watch."

The Jan. 16 news conference, held a month after a federal jury ordered ABC to pay Mr. Levan and Bank Atlantic $10 million in a libel suit, was a definite sign that the six-year-old case is far from over.

The jury said ABC and one of its producers libeled Mr. Levan in a 1991 broadcast by portraying him as misleading investors in exchanging real estate partnerships for bonds-controversial investments known as rollups.

ABC has vowed to appeal the verdict.

Why did Mr. Levan choose the nation's capital, in its most recognized press forum, to air his story, instead of Bank Atlantic Bancorp's Fort Lauderdale headquarters?

Mr. Levan said he's on a mission to clear his name, which he said continues to be muddied by ABC, the network's attorney, Floyd Abrams, and national news organizations that cover the story of what's considered the largest libel award.

"We don't have access to the media the way ABC does and Floyd Abrams does," Mr. Levan said.

Mr. Abrams could not be reached for comment.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.