Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and Slate online magazine are being sued by two ex-insurance executives who claim they were defamed in a column by Spitzer.

William Gilman and Edward McNenney worked for Marsh & McLennan and were the target of a prosecution by Spitzer when he was attorney general.

Both men were acquitted of all but one of the charges they faced. Marsh, however, settled the case for an $850m fine.

According to the New York Times, Spitzer wrote a column for Slade last summer which used the case as an example of what he said was a financial system that still lacked sufficient government regulation.

The column, titled “They Still Don’t Get It,” took issue with a Wall Street Journal editorial that picked apart Mr. Spitzer’s prosecutions of insurance giants like the American International Group.

Spitzer did not mention either Gilman or McNenney by name. But he did mention the $850m settlement and made reference to “criminal conduct” at the company.

Gilman filed a $90m suit with the federal courts while McNenney filed one for $30m with the New York state courts.

Spitzer told the Times he would defend the "entirely frivilous" suits.