A news story about a Love & Marriage Huntsville cast member’s troubled start appeared in multiple news publications in January 2006, including The Decatur Daily News, which you can read below. I blogged about the news story in February 2019 and now months later I have received a cease and desist from the cast member’s attorney. Read on for the details…
I received a cease and desist letter from an attorney representing the cast member today. In that letter she threatened to take “appropriate legal action” against me and “seek all available damages.”
She claims that ..
Side note: I do not have a “group” as referenced in the cease & desist, which leads me to believe this attorney copied and pasted this letter and sent it to multiple bloggers or discussion group owners, not just me.
*It’s important to pay special attention to the fact that the cease & desist letter was likely copied and pasted and sent to multiple people because it contains claims that are not specific to me. Repeat: I am being threatened with claims that are not specific to me.
My original blog article could not have caused substantial harm to the cast member as the C & D claims because the original article received very little traffic! I did not publish this story to my main platform. I published this story to my personal blog, which does not get enough traffic to warrant legal action being taken against me.
Below is the original Decatur Daily news article that I referenced in my blog post. It has not been retracted, however this attorney is “demanding” that I retract my blog post. And she even had the nerve to “demand” that I reply to her email acknowledging that I have made the changes she demanded, as if I am in the wrong or need to apologize for blogging about the news!
I AM A COMMENTATOR. I GIVE COMMENTARY ON THE NEWS! THE BELOW NEWS ARTICLE WAS NEWS!
Firstly, I believe this attorney and her clients are targeting me because I am a blogger and not a media corporation, making me an easier target for them.
Secondly, I believe they are falsely attributing to me harm that may have been done by others. My blog post actually received very little traffic as the cast members are not celebrities – who are the usual topics of this blog. And it appears the attorney is falsely attributing to me the harm that may have been done by the discussion group owners that she also copied and pasted her C & D email.
Thirdly, and most importantly, the US Constitution protects my right to Freedom of Speech. The very first amendment to the Constitution protects my right to free speech – which includes my right to give commentary about the news on my personal blog!
A simple email asking me to update the article with whatever information her clients wanted included would have been more effective. Especially since in my original article I focused on the fact that the cast member changed his life for the better and is now an example of how you can make something of yourself despite mistakes you made in the past.
The fact that my blog post was positive and optimistic was completely overlooked. I was threatened as if I gave false information on this person, when I simply gave a positive spin on the negative news about him.
Now look what’s happened. I hope this serves as a learning lesson to anyone reading this post.
- Don’t assume people don’t know their rights! I know the difference between making allegations vs. giving commentary on a news article published by a legitimate news source. My right to provide my commentary is protected by the First Amendment.
- Talk to people like the individuals they are! Being that my original article was positive and I am known for being a very positive blogger, I should have been approached in a positive manner – not with threats!
- Never hire an attorney to do PR. A PR person could have told the cast member that it would be better to just send a simple email rather than a threat of legal action.
I understand people have reputations to protect. But you can’t change the past, and you can’t stop people from talking about it. You can only control you, not me.
So don’t threaten me with legal action when I’ve broken no laws. It will only backfire.
I deserve an apology from the attorney who disturbed my evening by approaching me with threats of legal action when I’ve committed no crime. The cast member is not an attorney as far as I know, so I can excuse their ignorance of the law. But I can only assume that their attorney knows the law and is intentionally sending me unmerited threats because she thinks I can be intimidated. However, I can’t be intimidated. I only respond to conversation, not threats.
If you’re an attorney and you’re requesting (not demanding) something of me, your first contact with me should be a simple request, not a threat! You approach animals with threats, not decent human beings. Now I am insulted. And I am appalled that my right to free speech was challenged and that my intelligence was insulted.
I feel like I’m apart of some sorry reality tv storyline, to which I do not give my permission to be involved in. I do not give permission for my likeness, nor the likeness of my blog to be used by the OWN network or the producers of Love and Marriage Huntsville at any time.
And I hereby request no further contact from the cast members or their attorney. Further contact will be deemed harassment.
Good luck with your Season 2 storyline! This is not it!