See the update at the end...
Actor James Woods is an asshole. Let's just put that front and center. As you may recall, a little over a year ago, Woods sued a random Twitter user
who went by the pseudonym "Abe List." "List" frequently mocked Woods, including calling him "clown-boy" and a "cocaine addict." Woods then sued for defamation, demanding $10 million, and tried to unmask List. This was ridiculous for any number of reasons, not the least of which is calling much more attention to what a thin-skinned jackass Woods is from anonymous Twitter users. But, more importantly, such hyperbolic statements in an internet forum are not defamation -- rhetorical hyperbole certainly doesn't meet the standard for defamation of a public figure. On top of that, trying to unmask an anonymous speaker is really, really sketchy, and there's a very high bar.
Oh, and did we mention that Woods himself has a long history of similar rhetorical hyperbole on Twitter, including making statements about others smoking crack?
California, of course, has a strong anti-SLAPP law, and Abe List, with the help of lawyers Lisa Bloom and Ken "Popehat" White, sought to use it to get the case kicked out. While the judge initially agreed
that Woods' lawsuit was a SLAPP suit, he eventually changed his mind
, and said that Woods could find out who Abe List really is. List appealed to California's 2nd District Court of Appeal soon after that ruling earlier this year. Since then the case had moved forward with both sides filing opening briefs.
However, apparently "List" just died
. There are no details, but List passed away -- and with it, the case is over. The court docket
shows that on Thursday, his lawyers filed for the case to be dismissed based on List's death and the court quickly dismissed the case and closed it. No matter what you think of anything, this is not a great situation. Someone died
And total asshole James Woods decided to not just gloat about it, but to rub everyone's face in it. First, he pretended that the dismissal was because he was going to win the case:
That's so obnoxious that you might even overlook the fact that Woods here flat out admits he filed a SLAPP lawsuit.
Bloom, quite reasonably offended, pointed out that her pseudononymous client had died
and it's pretty obnoxious to gloat over a default victory like that.
Just to put an exclamation point on what a total and complete jackass he is, Woods responded to others pointing out that the client died by gleefully celebrating his death and hoping it was "in agony."
He doubled down on that with another person, talking about how he'll follow people "to the bowels of hell."
That's sickening. Like, literally. I feel ill. What kind of person would celebrate anyone's death? Even someone they dislike? I have no idea if James Woods is a "cocaine addict" but he sure is an extreme asshole.
Oh, and kinda creepy too.
I asked Ken White if he had anything to say about this and he replied:
It was a privilege to represent Abe Doe. He was passionate about many issues and a fierce and incisive debater, not afraid to mix it up with his own attorney. He challenged me just as easily as he challenged others. I was proud to help him fight a contemptible censorious lawsuit, and am very sad about his passing.
: And, of course, James Woods has now deleted many of those tweets I have above, but added a new one, attacking the lawyer, Lisa Bloom, for mentioning Abe's death. You know, the one he was gloating over.
: According to Eriq Gardner at THResq, despite Abe's death, Woods and his lawyers are going to continue the case
to try to unmask who Abe really was.