On Wednesday, barely a year after he said the list of "Shitty Media Men" began appearing online, writer Stephen Elliott, who was included by several women for alleged "rape and sexual harassment allegations," filed a lawsuit. for defamation. Against its creator, the journalist Moira Donegan, requesting $ 1.5 million in damages.
In claiming that her actions were "malicious in nature," Elliott also included in her suit thirty "Jane Does," the currently anonymous women who contributed to the list last year. He intends to identify them.
According to her complaint, filed with a New York district court, Elliott and her attorney plan to cite Google metadata to obtain the identities of those who contributed to the list, discovering their "names, email addresses, pseudonyms and / or & # 39; Internet identifiers & # 39; ".
Created as a result of the accusations of Harvey Weinstein and after the burgeoning #MeToo movement, the list was intended to serve as a way for women in the media to warn each other about possible aggressors in their workplaces. The anonymous contributors added names and complaints, and the Google collective collaboration spreadsheet was quickly filled with reports of harassment, abuse and other misconduct, all with the intention of being taken with a "grain of salt", according to the instructions included in the upper part of the document.
The list was not kept secret for long and soon after a series of articles were published, Donegan introduced himself as its creator.
"At first, I just wanted to create a place for women to share their stories of harassment and aggression without being discredited or judged unnecessarily," he wrote in an essay published by The Cut of New York magazine. "The hope was to create an alternative way to inform about this type of behavior and warn others without fear of reprisals."
Elliott, who vehemently denies the accusations that were listed under his name, says the inclusion on the list destroyed his career and caused depression. His suit appears immediately after a personal essay, published in September, entitled How an anonymous accusation derailed my life, in which he describes his sexual preferences and how difficult his life has been since the list emerged.
The answers to the essay were quick and included a thread of tweet in which one of his old colleagues, Lyz Lenz, writer of Columbia Journalism Review and a series of other publications, I detailed the forms in which she said that he had harassed her.
"Since your name was on the list, I received so many emails from women who talk about the harassment that you made them go through. I'm talking so they do not have to do it, "he wrote.
Elliott teamed up with attorney Andrew Miltenberg, a lawyer who specializes in combating sexual assault claims and who has expressed concern about Title IX protections. Miltenberg became famous for representing hundreds of male college students accused of sexual assault, and challenging what he told journalists is a system that is unfair to men.
Donegan could not be reached for comment. On Twitter, she aware A link to the essay he wrote last year, saying: "I opened the spreadsheet a year ago, and I wrote this essay, the hardest thing I wrote, a few months later. I still support it."