I’ve been giving a defamation lawsuit a lot of thought lately. I’m not writing this on the spur of the moment. The idea of a lawsuit has been simmering in the back of my mind for awhile now.
The situation that led up to this has been building for almost two years, shows no sign of ceasing, and it is getting progressively worse. It began as a ridiculous contretemps over two comments between two people and should have ended in mutual blocking. It’s on Quora, a Q & A website, and the other person(s) are Kelley Spartiatis and Rick Klugman.
It’s continuing still in answers from Spartiatis and Klugman- some are collapsed, some deleted, most are still there. Just a week ago, admin and a few TWs had to lock and then delete a topic with my name on it that called me an ‘evil demon’. Klugman’s and a couple of other names are there as instigators. The person who created the topic didn’t use their real name. Ms. Spartiatis follows me around Quora to argue with me in comment threads and post screen shots, the last one not five minutes ago.
Over the week since I wrote this post, in fact, I can tell it continues, still.
Two years ago I wrote an email to Ms. Estevez, a Quora admin, asking her to intervene with Spartiatis and Klugman. Ms. Spartiatis had written a post trashing me and my new book, and she and Mr. Klugman continued doing so in the comment thread. Her post and my email to Ms. Tatiana are archived.
In subsequent comments over the last two years, I’ve read entire threads trashing me and I can find them right now on Quora. I’ve posted a link at the bottom of this post and have kept copies of all them, including the comment threads.
Nowhere on Quora will you find me joining in a Trash Fest in the comments. Nowhere do I speculate on the mental or emotional state of a person, or persons, known or unknown to me. Nowhere have I called anyone out in answers or comments. Nowhere have I spread disinformation or intimated that someone is morally corrupt. Never have I accused anyone of that in real time, unless they snatched my purse. Or stalked and harassed me, I should add.
Spartiatis and Klugman have expressed in comments the wish that I’d die; in answers that are still published on Quora, they’ve accused me of being a thief and a pathological liar, a bully, an hysteric, a narcissist, a phony, a fake, a backstabber, and a mudscraper, which referred to my Showgirl Clay.
Everything but being a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a king.
Where have I trashed her business? Not once did she think to check on the IP address of those emails she supposedly received about her business. Where have I trashed them? Writing on my blog about the defamation of character, putative ‘crimes’ I’ve committed, criminal harassment and stalking by Klugman, or the lies that Spartiatis is spreading about me is not slander. They’ve always been outraged that I refuse to be their doormat or let them abuse me. They’ve continued in this vein for almost two years now. It is continuing still in answers this year.
Here’s a quote from a recent answer of Ms. Spartiatis. The link is at the bottom of this post. Others of hers and of Mr. Klugman’s, are in my documents along with the comment threads, but every one of them is still visible on Quora:
“I am writing this answer on Quora because this person is linking my Quora profile and encouraging her followers to down vote my content. She is making threats via email to Quorans who she’s obviously seen interacting with me.”
I have never emailed but one person concerning them and that was one email in which I told the person to tell them “to lay off my content on Quora.” I have never told anyone to downvote her content. In a more recent answer she says I sent her screen shots of private messages. I don’t know how to do screen shots. Sad, but true. I’ve never, ever sent her anyone’s private messages. (That is one false statement that kind of bowls me over.)
She would have to prove all of this in court and that would be difficult. She would further have to prove I am indeed a thief (an impossibility because I’m not), a liar (find proof I am lying about anything-I have their emails, comments, and answers, so what have I lied about?), or any of her other charges. In the post I wrote about Mr. Klugman, there’s a picture of the protection order I have against him, and the file that proves why I need one. Nope, no lie there.
I’ve never “speculated about someone’s marriage,” merely asked whether he was okay after he made public comments about the state of his marriage. I’ve never told her “not to be friends” with someone, merely warned her to be careful what she said to him in public, as Quora has people from many different cultures. From personal experience, I know that even innocent flirting can be misconstrued, not to mention some of the things these two say to each other in public.
I have never speculated or “talked about anyone’s income,” as Ms. Spartiatis accused me of doing. Ms. E revealed in an answer that she makes 75k a year and this after she wormed a free book out of a person on a fixed income. Her comment to me can be found on the post about going to Justice Court, I believe. I was unimpressed with an ‘abuse’ survivor’s dismissal of my harassment and stalking experience with Mr. Klugman. As if it was all about the Top Writer quill on Quora.
Both Ms. Spartiatis and Mr. Klugman have written posts saying I was the reason Klugman deactivated, although he subsequently wrote one saying he did it because he wasn’t awarded TW status, which he feels entitled to. In reality, he did it to focus on harassing and stalking me online. Spartiatis accused me of driving “a young girl” off Quora. She neglected to include what I wrote to the woman, who’s in college and is not a ‘young girl’. My message was polite, but firm. Stop writing falsehoods about me based on what they were telling her.
I’ve never accused her of downvoting or reporting my content. I made Mr. Klugman for this particular offense, because I started having trouble not long after he returned to the site. He’s also a past master at making up emails and phony names, as can be proven from my court file on him, all with the same IP addresses or posted from his trucking route.
Spartiatis and Klugman twist everything I say, object to me defending myself, make up outright lies, and then claim that I did those things to them. Ms. Spartiatis notably did this with the ‘credential’ thing- that I accuse her of having ‘no credentials’.
Yes, I responded to her allegation that I “have no credentials” with a like charge of same. I’m not aware that I needed any other credentials than a home crafter of soap and a truck driver might have to have to answer questions. She has no degree in science or dermatology, but writes extensively about ingredients in cosmetics and soap.
Defamation can be proven by third party witnesses, of which there is no dearth on Quora. One comment thread has so many ‘third party witnesses’ they could fill a courtroom. Both Spartiatis and Klugman tell people in comments and have told me in emails, that they will PM people letting them “know about me..” More than one friend has sent me a message informing me that Ms. Spartiatis sent them a message telling them to block me and how “awful” I am. Both Spartiatis and Klugman have sent me emails and comments telling me that they are informing people about my “crimes and misdemeanors.”
Never will anyone be able to come forth with proof that I’ve written to them about these two unless I was asked specifically to do so. Several people have asked for my side of the story. Those messages would show that my story remains the same and that I was asked to give it. I’ve told friends that I don’t care with whom they remain friends.
These two take blocks of text and post them with no context. It’s like the worst of yellow journalism and is a perfect example of how the media goes about defaming someone they don’t like. Just take their words out of context and then twist them to mean something else. Lie about them. Call them names and accuse them of felonies and moral turpitude.
There are two sides to every story. Mine never changes, but theirs does. That should say something right there.
A sample of what I’ve found on what constitutes a case for defamation follows in quotes. Italics and emphasis mine, to point out what applies to me personally with regards to what they’ve written about me.
Excerpts from answers on Quora and several comments on them can be found at the end of the defamation explanation. All of it is proof of defamation with respect to all of the requirements:
“Defamation laws protect the reputations of individuals and other entities (such as businesses) from untrue and damaging statements. Libel refers to statements that can be seen (typically written and published), while slander occurs when a defamatory statement is spoken or otherwise audible (such as a radio broadcast). To prove either type of defamation, plaintiffs must prove the following four elements:
- First, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant made a false and defamatory statement concerning the plaintiff.
(These have been made many times over on Quora for two years and in no uncertain terms, by not only Ms. Spartiatis and Mr. Klugman, but by other people on Quora, all of them instigated by their answers and defamatory content.)
- Second, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant made an unprivileged publication to a third party. (Quora in this case.)
- Third, the plaintiff must prove that the publisher acted at least negligently in publishing the communication.
(Perhaps negligently failed to delete the publications in Quora’s case? They have not removed most of the defamatory content despite it being reported many times.)
- Fourth, in some cases, the plaintiff must prove special damages.
(I think it’s clear from the comments you’ll read below, and from what I had to go through with Amazon in removing their content concerning not just one, but all my books, that special damage was done.)
One essential element in any defamation action is that the defendant published something defamatory about the plaintiff. A communication may be considered defamatory “if it tends so to harm the reputation of another as to lower him in the estimation of the community or to deter third persons from associating with him,” according to the American Restatement of Torts (or “The Restatement”).
Examples of defamatory statements are virtually limitless and may include any of the following: (from the bulleted list below my insert in parentheses:)
(This potentially reaches an audience of thousands, as the answers are still published and one or more has been sent to the Quora digest. From comments from people I don’t know, and from those I do, a blind person can see the damage they’ve done to my reputation and character):
- A communication that suggests the plaintiff was involved in a serious crime involving moral turpitude or a felony
(They both have called me a thief on Quora with regards to their friend’s jewelry. A year after she received her things in the mail, I’m still receiving communications that I should ‘send it back’.)
- A communication that exposes a plaintiff to ridicule
(This is one apt statement, with regards to all their answers on Quora and the subsequent comments that follow their posts and from comments I’ve received from their friends on this blog.)
- A communication that reflects negatively on the plaintiff’s character, morality, or integrity
(Spartiatis has called me a liar, a thief, a bully, a backstabber, a phony, and a fake in front of the world’s third party witnesses, while Klugman repeatedly calls me a narcissist and a pathological liar among other things.)
- A communication that impairs the plaintiff’s financial well-being
(Maybe. This might be proven through Amazon where both of them have left defamatory reviews on The Wolf Bites Back and on my other books, besides impacting potential sales from Quora. Not once have I said anything about her products, or suggested that no one should buy them or that they’re worthless, unlike her own statements about my books.)
- A communication that suggests that the plaintiff suffers from a physical or mental defect that would cause others to refrain from associating with the plaintiff.
(The name calling and ridicule in answers and comment threads goes on and on, not to mention that the word ‘narcissist’ carries with it severe negative connotations. A professional is required to diagnose this condition. (Being called a ‘pathological liar’, a thief, a bully, and all the rest, doesn’t help, either.) Further, Mr. Klugman has called me a sociopath. Anything I have written about him in my stalking and harassment post how to, comes straight from his emails to me in which he calls himself a ‘sociopath with a borderline personality disorder’, and then threatens me, and from what he’s written online about himself. Never have I intimated anything about him that he didn’t write himself, to me, and in his answers.)
“Courts have long struggled with the task of determining a standard for deciding whether a statement is defamatory. Many statements may be viewed as defamatory by some individuals, but the same statement may not be viewed as defamatory by others. But generally, courts require a plaintiff to prove that he or she has been defamed in the eyes of the community or within a defined group within the community. Juries usually decide this question.
(From the comments alone that I’ve posted below, most of which come from Ms. Spartiatis’ answer on Quora and which aren’t even the bulk of them, this is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.)
“Courts have struggled to some degree with the treatment of statements of opinions. In common law, statements of opinion could form the basis of a defamation action similar to a statement of pure fact. Generally, if a statement implies defamatory facts as the basis of the opinion, then the statement may be considered libel or slander.”
“Another requirement in libel and slander cases is that the defendant must have published defamatory information about the plaintiff. “Publication” certainly includes traditional forms, such as books, newspapers, and magazines, but it also includes oral remarks. A streaming audio clip on the Internet may be considered a publication in this context. So long as the person to whom a statement has been communicated can understand the meaning of the statement, courts will generally find that the statement has been published.”
Meaning of a Communication:
“In some instances, the context of a statement may determine whether the statement is defamatory. The Restatement provides as follows: “The meaning of a communication is that which the recipient correctly, or mistakenly but reasonably, understands that it was intended to express.” Courts generally will take into account associated facts and circumstances in determining the meaning of the statement. So even where two statements are identical in their words, one may be defamatory while the other is not, depending on the context of the statements.”
Reference to the Plaintiff:
In a defamation action, the recipient of a communication must understand that the defendant intended to refer to the plaintiff in the communication. Even where the recipient mistakenly believes that a communication refers to the plaintiff, this belief, so long as it is reasonable, is sufficient. It is not necessary that the communication refer to the plaintiff by name.”
Repeat: It is NOT necessary that the communication refer to the plaintiff by name.
(That one is a biggie when it comes to Quora’s Be Nice, Be Respectful policy. They wouldn’t be allowed to mention me by name, but they’ve told people in comments that they’d PM them the information about me and tell them who they’re talking about. Further, my name has been mentioned several times in comments and on Mr. Klugman’s profile page, both my nickname and my given name. From other comments, it is plain that the person knows who is being discussed in the answer. In the case of The Insurgency post mentioned below, my name is mentioned several times in the comment thread, besides being the author of the post.)
“A defendant may publish defamatory material in the form of a story or novel that apparently refers only to fictitious characters, where a reasonable person would understand that a particular character actually refers to the plaintiff. This is true even if the author states that he or she intends for the work to be fictional.”
(The Wolf Bites Back does not fall into this category for the reverse. I use only exact, written, and published statements that were sent to me, or directed at me. No names or identifying characteristics are mentioned in the book, either, although both these people insisted on outing themselves on Quora and in the defamatory reviews they left on Amazon. Mr. Klugman left denigrating reviews on all of my books.)
“In some circumstances, an author who publishes defamatory matter about a group or class of persons may be liable to an individual member of the group or class. This may occur when: (1) the communication refers to a group or class so small that a reader or listener can reasonably understand that the matter refers to the plaintiff; and (2) the reader or listener can reasonably conclude that the communication refers to the individual based on the circumstances of the publication.”
(Doubt is removed on Quora, because despite its large readership which numbers in the hundreds of thousands, it is still a community where thousands of users know immediately who is being discussed. Since I have over 8 thousand followers and have been writing there for over two years, the person being referred to is not hard to ascertain.)
What follows is proof that every requirement for a filing a defamation lawsuit against Ms. Spartiatis and Mr. Klugman (and possibly Alec Fane as a BOGO in England; he came back as Charlie Mason and has since been banned again) are fulfilled.
Let’s take a few examples from what is still visible on Quora and written by these two people. Despite their many protestations to the contrary, that “they haven’t bothered me” (in two years was it?), and that “I (meaning me) won’t leave them alone,” the latest post I found on Ms. Spartiatis’ profile is dated in January of 2018, and three answers by Mr. Klugman are dated this year, besides the topic that was deleted a few weeks ago with his name on it. As of February 14, 2018, they’ve both posted comments directed at me on a comment thread.
The reason my posts were written on this blog is for exactly this reason, to defend myself from their attacks. Their friends joined in in writing about me- Ms. Daniels being a perfect example, and then Alec Fane/Charlie Mason, among a few.
From Mr. Klugman: (The links to his answers can be found here)
Mr. Klugman has written in several comments that he wants me ‘to prove something’ but that he believes I can’t prove this thing, whatever it is. Does he mean the fact that I have a protection order? It’s on the post with those links above. The judge felt he had more than enough evidence to grant a protection order. Does he want me to post all the evidence of his wrong doing? I can do that. Does he want to be served again by a sheriff? I can make that happen. I suspect the fact that I don’t do these things has made him think he’s safe in calling me a “pathological liar.”
Here are samples of what he’s written on Quora about me. These things have been repeated to me by more than one of his followers in comments on this blog, and on Quora, proving one of the requirements of defamation on his part:
“Narcissists hate rejection. The fact that she was, and no longer is a popular Quoran hasn’t helped. She is the victim of her own demise as her lies became more and more outrageous and people began to see her for what she is…a pathological liar.”
“One detestable excuse for a human being, a once popular Quoran herself, began circulating rumors and lies about me on her blog. With her it seemed to be some kind of obsession.”
“There’s one person on this site that I find particularly detestable. The mere sight of her name makes me throw up a little in my mouth because of how phony she is.”
The follow up comments fits one of the requirements in what makes a statement defamatory, ie: that the person being referred to causes others to hold them in contempt:
“I know you can’t say, but I would love to know who you were talking about.”
And from Ms. Spartiatis’ posts:
“I’m dealing with a liar at the moment. An attention seeking liar who is lying to try and further their own career. This person is a bully. A narcissist. A liar. Hysterical and has delusions of grandeur that I can see….” “from some woman who has neither studied nor has any relevant credentials.”
“I will personally write to every school in America to tell them that this person is a liar. I will expose her lies because some liars are dangerous and she is one such liar.”
And under my name for a topic question she writes:
“So I ask you, OP, why would you think a person who is neither an expert on any subject nor do they write helpful answers or any answer that doesn’t pander to their own ego, deserve such an award?”
(These are just a few examples. While I have written about my book, The Wolf Bites Back, and about the criminal harassment by Mr. Klugman and my experiences going to court for a protection order on this blog, nowhere will anyone find anything on Quora that I’ve written about them.)
As for public opinion being affected by defamatory comments about a person’s character:
“Why would they block you because of her? There’s a couple of hers who blocked me who I have never interacted with I think but they don’t count for this question because they only have a small number of followers. I’m willing to bet a lot more have blocked her though!”
The link below is the one Alec Fane was referring to, and further defamation is in the long comment thread below it. I’ve archived the entire thread, because the post will no doubt be deleted now that I’ve discovered it. Funny how that works: