Senate sex blog suit heads toward X-rated trial

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
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    Reality
    #1
    Oh, this is rich!:

    CNN

    Although at this point, who cares about the legal and ethical ramifications? Bring on the juicy stuff! :p
     
  2. stillwater macrumors regular

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    Rowley, MA
    #2
    Isn't a trial just going to prolong the public exposure of this guy's sexual peccadillos? If I were him, I would have quietly dropped the suit after the initial publicity died down.
     
  3. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #3
    Yes and no. Yes it brings the material back to the gossip pages, but will probably die down soon after (as it has once before). But why drop the suit? This could have serious potential as it would affect liability for anybody that violated the privacy of another person by airing their laundry online. Obviously there is the offensive component, but this would make future litigation much easier. For example - imagine you are from a small conservative town (say $25k per capita; 5500 people) and you ex posts in her blog "[stillwater's real name] likes it when I spank him while he wears my underwear" - the damage to your reputation needs to be recovered since you will likely suffer both personal embarassment and professional harm. Even if it is just her blog for her friends to read, it is available for anybody to see - this suit would clear that public/private hurdle.
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #4
    There are many ways to give up your right to privacy - being in a public place being one of them, employee contracts are usually another -- and I would imagine that this case will turn on whether telling someone something as intimate as your sexual proclivities means you have voided your right to privacy in the matter.

    As an additional consideration, my understanding is that you can't be successfully sued for libel / slander if what you say / write happens to be true. Thus if it can be established that this guy does indeed enjoy spankings and submissive women, it would seem that it would be difficult to prove that the harm to his reputation was entirely -- or even at all -- someone else's fault. Personal responsibility and all that jazz...
     
  5. stillwater macrumors regular

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    #5
    First, thanks for the link about my little town. I didn't realize the population was that small.

    As far as my ex goes, I don't think her underwear would fit me. :rolleyes:

    I guess your right that the damage to the plaintiff's reputation has already been done, but does it make a difference if the personal details in her blog are true?
     
  6. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #6
    6 months later and I've already forgotten exactly, but someone studying for the bar in Feb should be able to answer this one easily enough.

    Now, if I remember right, the truth of the matter will only come into play if (as mactastic points out) he brings a libel claim (this was in print, so the more difficult slander claim is pointless). If, as it appears, he is arguing that he published personal facts that he did not want revealed, then the truthiness is irrelevant. This is most easily applied when a homosexual's homosexuality is made public against his desire to have it made public. There are times where even this is protected (e.g. on the legislative floor, in open court), but a blog is probably not. Similarily, his sexual preferences regarding condoms and spanking were probably somethign that he intended to keep private until he chose to make them public.

    I doubt that he told her "Hey, I think it would be great if people knew my sexual preferences." I also doubt he discussed it in front of a third party (which I think may be her only way of avoiding the "private details" element).
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #7
    I didn't realize that there was a (legal) problem with "outing" someone. Aren't there publications out there with a history of outing homosexuals against their will?
     
  8. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    Salt Lake City UT
    #8
    So why can't we get more action from good ole Bill eh?
     

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