Robyn Openshaw, 'The Green Smoothie Girl,' Threatening SLAPP Suits Over Mediocre Reviews

from the don't-do-this dept

Various health fads come and go. One particular one that I guess has been around for a bit is the idea of drinking “green smoothies.” This was made popular by Robyn Openshaw, who is called “The Green Smoothie Girl” and has written a bunch of books, all around her views on approaches to losing weight and health, including the aforementioned green smoothies, and various “detox” plans. There’s also something about “vibrations,” but that’s about as deep into the weeds as I was going to get on her views on staying healthy.

I have no opinion on whether or not any of that stuff works or is good for you (do your own research!) but it does appear that the Green Smoothie Girl, Robyn Openshaw, is not at all happy about negative reviews. People who merely posted on Facebook saying that Openshaw’s claims were “unproven” among other things, started receiving threatening messages demanding that these mildly negative reviews be taken down or they would face lawsuits:

Someone at least claiming to work for Robyn was contacting people with ridiculously baseless threats. The threats are so ridiculous as to be laughable:

Sarah Jane, my employer is Robyn Openshaw, Influence Brands, and GreenSmoothieGirl.

You have until midnight tonight, to remove your negative reviews on her various companies. We have screenshotted your slander and cyberbullying and will engage our attorneys and PI’s to send you a FORMAL C&D, should you not wish to comply, as well as file a lawsuit against you which will include damages to her….

[….]

… as we work together to gather information and file complaints, as well as court costs, in our state (not yours.)

As soon as your name is in the lawsuit for damages, slander, and cyberbullying with charges in all applicable case law, we will hold you accountable for those charges as lon gas it takes. You can probably infer that this will be very expensive.

Most of that is word salad, with a few nonsense legal terms tossed in for shits and giggles. But, it’s a nice touch to flat out admit in the threat to file a SLAPP suit that you’re doing it because it will “be very expensive.” Good to admit that that’s your intention upfront, right?

I would imagine this will end up in the media as well.

You don’t say…

Should you choose to delete all your false reviews, we will not subpoena Facebook for all your information and pursue legal action against you. We will just watch your actions in case you do any more, and at that point we will take ALL of the evidence to the authorities.

The authorities? I love legal threats that don’t know the difference between civil complaints and criminal charges, but, hey. It all sounds vaguely about the law.

But wait, there’s more:

There are some true classics in here.

I highly recomment you take quick action to remove the negative reviews, as they legally qualify under many laws/statutes as slander and bullying, and the law holds you accountable for the financial and other losses businesses incur due to your actions–even the time we employees spend having to document your actions and pursue you, will be collected in a court judgment against you.

That review must have been pretty bad, right? Nope:

Since then First Amendment lawyer Ari Cohn has been cataloging more and more insanity around these threats. We’ve heard of some unique interpretations of Section 230 in the past, but this might be the craziest:

That includes an image first of someone asking for info on a commenter be sent to Openshaw so “he can be served legally and peacefully” and then shows Openshaw stating the following, which appears to likely be her mangling how Section 230 works:

Lannette Syck also attorney confirms I am not liable for what I say here. This is my page.

They are the ones out of bounds. They come on my page and the pages of my business.

Um… what?

And, of course, it quickly came out that they were sending these kinds of messages to others who wrote negative reviews as well. And, as we all know by now, you’re not doing vexatious legal threats correctly if you don’t eventually get around to doing the RICO. And I think we can say mission accomplished on that one:

That’s a message, direct from Openshaw’s account (rather than an “employee”) saying:

She wasnt a commenter. She committed felony tortious interference and RICO.

let her know it’s slander and tortious interference when I can prove she’s not a customer or follower and she was told to go attack my page by pharma mafia troll.

Clueless trolls don’t know c&d is a warning.

Should they want to remove the fraud review before they get served.

They can disregard, their choice, and get served.

All the fake reviews posted within 48 hours of supertroll BKM telling others to attack my page, plus tagging her troll friends right here on my page to go post fake reviews.

We have all the screen shots.

Felony convictions are a matter of public record and can keep you from getting a job or a loan.

Felony convictions? For posting a mildly negative review? That’s not how any of this works.

Also, she seems to think that violating Facebook’s terms of service is the same as violating the law. And cyber consultants something something something.

That’s another message from Robyn’s own account:

[Redacted], would you like to take your troll posts down–on your page, and the comment on mine–or would you prefer my cyber security specialist serve you at your work with my attorneys’ C&D and lawsuit for defamation and violating Facebook’s bullying policies, and you have violated both–which are here:

* descriptions of photos that degrade someone’s appearance or character.
* targeting someone with threats

Your choice. Let me know by midnight tonight, because I have some legal actions to initiate tomorrow. If there is a cyber bullying lawsuit, we will seek all my legal and cyber consultant fees.

Sounds credible!

And apparently, RICO isn’t enough, because eventually, you need to take it up a notch. To terrorism.

That appeared to be a bit of an “airing of grievances” by Robyn with those who left negative comments, and includes this whopper:

My attorney will subpoena Facebook Monday so I can sue her for damages and engage Facebook to find her actual identity and any other fake profiles where she spreads hate speech and terrorism.

And there’s more. This time, a message from “Drew Millz.”

Well, the c&d is obviously informal, as it said, from a non attorney (who is talking to attorneys as she vets them for who is most qualified to sue the rolls doing damage to her business, harassing, and other cyber crimes).

And when the suits against those doing damage to her business are filed, they will of course all be based on actual law.

Well, phew. Actual law. Like the 1st Amendment? Might want to look that one up before suing over speech.

All of you can discuss at will but if you do damage to Ms Openshaw and her publishers’ properties or slander or harass you will face legal consequences.

Some will be served at home and some at work so be mindful if you are the type of person to harm strangers’ IP and web properties.

Some of you have done it to many people and we are collecting that evidence to make this a larger order and TRO than just Ms Openshaw.

But no one sending the INFORMAL c&d claimed to be an attorney.

The informal c&d stated these options are being considered.

The legal team about to represent Ms Openshaw in these actions feel there is RICO justification for two of the supertrolls.

RICO justification? Informal C&Ds? This is just so much fun, I might have to go drink an orange smoothie to celebrate. Anyway, the informal cease and desist letters then turned into “draft” C&D letters, because that makes no sense at all. Also, they promise to drag the people they’re threatening to Utah to defend this, once again effectively admitting that this is vexatious.

There’s also a separate Twitter account that first claimed Openshaw was already sending subpoenas and also looking for a lawyer (i.e., sending subpoenas before having a lawyer?!?):

Robyn Openshaw, public figure THE #1 health site , is seeking a top attorney that specializes in cyber bullying. She has been very public that she is going to sue a number of the trolls & is already subpoenaing their info and says it will ALL be in public court of law record! thx

And when more knowledgeable people pointed out how silly this claimed, the responses got worse:

She didn?t have to get any of the information subpoenaed. Asking the universe will provide. This is going to be an epic case that will set a precedence and she said these trolls are going to pay. With more than money.

Asking the universe will provide.

If her knowledge of health and wellness is at the same level as her knowledge of the law, well, I’d maybe stay away from green smoothies.

The threats on Facebook have continued — with the latest coming from a brand new profile under the name “Jeff Johnson” claiming that Openshaw doesn’t want to harm anyone’s right to free speech — but somehow calling out her bogus threats is an attack on her free speech. Because, of course:

That one also includes some fun insults about “under employed lawyers” and warnings about more lawsuits.

I get that people not fawning over you may feel bad. And that negative reviews may hurt. But hitting back with bogus legal threats, then doubling down with even more threats that are in no way reflective of the actual law, is no way to go through life.

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Comments on “Robyn Openshaw, 'The Green Smoothie Girl,' Threatening SLAPP Suits Over Mediocre Reviews”

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65 Comments
This comment has been deemed funny by the community.
Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

What goes in tends to come out

Does the paranoia Robyn Openshaw seems to be experiencing come from drinking Green Smoothies? If so, there is no better negative review available.

Then again I have never heard of paranoia coming from consuming anything. Does that mean the paranoia is inherent?

This comment has been deemed funny by the community.
MathFox says:

Re: Re: What goes in tends to come out

I mean, I’ve consumed some foods that made me paranoid, but not since college.

In my college time I thought the Dutch had a monopoly on that kind of green smoothies. I know times and laws have changed in the US since then. 😉

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

Zof (profile) says:

We've turned opinions into crimes the past few years

Daily, we see people getting punished and deplatformed simply for their opinions. So it’s not surprising she’s this delusional. Our entire society has been made delusional to prepare them to vote the way the corporations want them to vote. She’s simply prepared to be told what to do. This is what the Manchurian Voter looks like.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

we see people getting punished and deplatformed simply for their opinions

Sounds like someone doesn’t like the idea of social consequences for certain kinds of speech/expression.

it’s not surprising she’s this delusional

Educated guess here, but I’m guessing she didn’t become delusional because other people got whapped by a banhammer for saying racial slurs or cussing out verified Twitter accounts.

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This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

And in the context of that analogy, "deplatformed" is actually the equivalent of being kicked out of the town by the Sheriff.

I really hate that word, deplatformed, it reeks of a poor me, I’m a victim mentality. Why not call it for what it is, telling assholes that they aren’t welcome anymore and they can take their dreck somewhere else.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: We've turned opinions into crimes the past few years

Suppose you’re booked to speak at an event of some kind.

A bunch of people opposed to your views demand that either the event is cancelled — or you are.

Your speaking gig gets pulled. Congratulations, you have been deplatformed. Famous people this has happened to include the feminist writer Germaine Greer (not politically correct enough, particularly where trans people are concerned), right wing commentator Ann Coulter, and "cultural libertarian" Milo Yiannopoulos.

…telling assholes that they aren’t welcome anymore and they can take their dreck somewhere else.

The decision to declare people to be [insult] and to tell them they’re not welcome any more is usually taken by a group of activists with a bee in their bonnet about ___, e.g. right-wingery. They then proceed to make enough noise that the speaker is dropped and/or the event cancelled.

I’m not a fan because this is political; while militant progressivism rules the roost, right wing mean people will have their speaking engagements cancelled under pressure from the proggies.

If right-wingery becomes more popular, guess which group’s darlings will find themselves kicked off campus for having unapproved views? History has a nasty habit of repeating itself because we like to think that the lessons don’t apply to us. The do, people. This century’s Thirties have come a bit early; hard on the heels of our fin-de-siecle excesses. Expect a right-wing pushback and the imposition of fascist regimes all over the place until our Sixties kick in and we have another Flower Power counter-cultural revolution. I believe the advent of the internet is speeding things up because we’re better able to communicate and coordinate than ever before. Will the next round of fin-de-siecle excesses come before the end of this century?

Learn the lessons, people. Learn the lessons.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

If right-wingery becomes more popular, guess which group’s darlings will find themselves kicked off campus for having unapproved views?

Not for nothin’, but if “right-wingery” becomes more of a thing, certain members of certain groups won’t be the only members of those groups to leave when the booting comes. You can argue about whether “left-wingery” comes with its own form of authoritarianism attached. But the debate on whether that applies to “right-wingery” has been settled thanks to gerrymandering, anti-abortion laws, anti-LGBT civil rights activists, right wing militias, Christian dominionists, and Donald Trump in general.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

they know that Facebook messenger is not really a legal way of legally contacting someone, right?

It is if the judge approves.

https://www.lawpracticetoday.org/article/service-process-via-social-media/

More to the point, these aren’t legal notices, they’re just threats. They have no force of law and so can be delivered however she wants.

Pink (profile) says:

Glorious

As someone that’s received numerous messages and a fun doxx from OpenJaw and her loud friends – We all appreciate you. <3

It’s alarming when someone throws out threats of criminal activity your way and actual attorneys talking about it has given us all the ability to laugh. There’s at least two dozen of us that have received these.

Happy Holiday’s y’all

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’m sure it’s a total coincidence that she decided to hide/delete an account that was throwing out baseless legal threat and legal claims shortly after an actual lawyer weighed in to point out how utterly empty they were and started cataloging them for all to see.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

afaik, FB is trying to obtain additional personal information, which of course, they do not need.
They freeze your account claiming suspicious activity and recommend you upload copies of government IDs in order to restore the account. Failure to do so results in no access for about two weeks after which they restore the account with no additional info being provided.

That One Guy (profile) says:

... think I'll pass

If this is the sort of behavior that someone who came up with a ‘green smoothie’ engages in, think I’ll stay as far away from it as possible, as I can’t help but find suspect any advice given by someone this childish/dishonest/deranged, and the fact that at least part of this tantrum was kicked off by someone posting the utterly slanderous assertion of ‘these claims are unproven’ doesn’t exactly help that with that concern.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Tin-Foil-Hat says:

Idiots

I and many others consider reviews, tweets and Facebook posts to be opinions. When a company behaves in this way, threatening lawsuits and criminal charges it adds weight to every negative opinion. Now the simple opinion becomes "there must be some truth in there to prompt this kind of response". It is bullying on the part of the company. The negative vibe will now be carried natiionally and even globally instead of staying within a relative few followers.

Slow Joe Crow says:

Does any of Openshaw’s behavior violate Facebook TOS, or constitute a basis for a civil suit? Seems like sending extravagant threats and maliciously reporting critics to FB should be grounds for a permanent FB ban, and maybe extortion charges.
As for the claimed benefits of "green smoothie" I rank it as goop wannabe and something Derek Lowe could demolish in a single paragraph.

Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

Good Luck with That

I recall one case here in Fla where the recipient of the threat regarding their reviews decided to bite first. They brought a dec action and also damages.

They won.

I’m not so sure that the action of sending a baseless threat is entirely free of risk. At least where the recipient already has a lawyer, the threats may become not merely the grist of humor, but also the basis of more.

For instance, if the threat says that the threatener will get fees, then the threatenee may have a basis to demand fees in return. That can make the threats painful.

If the threat comes from out of state, there is probably venue in your state because the threat was specifically targeting your state.

For all these reasons, it may be wise to avoid silly threats. I say that, in prelude to saying also of the green smoothie lady appears to

  • promote dubious claims
  • which are not well-tested
  • be prone to baseless legal threats
  • be less than honest in her communications
  • have a parent who smells of elderberries

This opinion is based on what I have read in the original article above. If Ms Green Slime needs to find me, the Google works amazingly well.

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