Remember back in January when model Liskula Cohen was the target of a blog called 'Skanks in NYC?' The GoogleBlogger-hosted site featured embarrassing, personal photos of Cohen, and the anonymous author said of her: "I would have to say that first place award for 'Skankiest in NYC' would have to go to Liskula Gentile Cohen." The site was quickly taken down when Cohen decided to try and take legal action, but Google refused to hand over the blogger's identity, unless ordered to do so by a court.
Well, Miss Cohen has succeeded. According to the Telegraph, the Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Joan Madden ordered Google on Monday to hand over the blogger's e-mail and IP addresses. Google gave the information to Cohen's lawyers, who plan to sue the blogger for defamation.
In court, Anne Salisbury, the lawyer representing the blogger, accused Cohen of simply trying to attract publicity, not repair her reputation, since the blog was not widely known until she attempted legal action.
Cohen told 'Good Morning America' on Wednesday that the blogger was a former acquaintance. She said, "Thank God it was her... she's an irrelevant person in my life. She's just somebody that, whenever I would go out to a restaurant, to a party in New York City ... she was just that girl that was always there." Cohen went on to tell Diane Sawyer that she called the blogger and said, "I just want you to know that if I've ever done anything to you to actually deserve this then I'm really very sorry. I'm sincerely apologetic." The model told the New York Post that the blogger was a bit tongue-tied during the call, responding with "Um, um, um," after being confronted. While Cohen still plans to sue, she may reconsider if the blogger offers an apology.
This is a case that many, especially privacy experts, will be watching closely, now that Google has been ordered to divulge the identity of a customer. If simply calling Cohen a "skank" online is ruled to be defamation, it may open the door for more litigation against the hordes on Facebook, Twitter, and the like who loudly hurl insults at celebrities and one another. In fact, if simply calling someone a name on the Internet is grounds for legal action, some of the commenters on this site are guilty of defamation. But don't worry, we won't be taking legal action against you, no matter how many times you call us stupid, ignorant, or thingsthat we can't repeat. [From: Telegraph, NY Post, ABC News, and CNN]
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