Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Judge Orders Google to ID Model-Trashing Blogger

Image representing Blogger as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

New York Supreme Court Judge Joan Madden has lifted the cloak of anonymity to reveal the identity of a blogger who featured Vogue cover model Liskula Cohen in five derisive posts in August 2008, on a blog entitled "Skanks in NYC."

In January 2009, Cohen petitioned the court for pre-action discovery from Google to uncover the author of the postings that characterized Cohen as a "psychotic, lying, whoring...skank." In her ruling ordering Google or Blogspot to provide Cohen with the name, address, email, IP address, and phone number of the blogger, Judge Madden held that Cohen had established an underlying legitimate defamation claim to warrant enforcement of her subpoena (In the Matter of the Application of Liskula Cohen for an action pursuant to Sec.3102(c) of the Civil Practice Law and Rules to compel disclosure from Google, Inc. and/or its subsidiary, Index No. 100012/09).

Cohen alleged the postings, along with photos of her, captions, and commentary were defamatory per se because they falsely portrayed her as promiscuous and unclean. Counsel for the blogger argued the comments were rhetorical hyperpole, opinion, and vague insults that were not actionable as defamation.

Judge Madden found the use of words such as "skanky," "ho," and "whoring," when accompanied by photos of Cohen, "carry a negative implication of sexual promiscuity."

The fashion model was pleased with Judge Madden's ruling, but rumors that she planned to regurgitate her victory dinner are unfounded.
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