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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.

Filed Under: cyberbullying, defamation, free speech, green smoothie girl, reviews, robyn openshaw, slapp, threats


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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 8:30am

    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 9:53am

      Re: What goes in tends to come out

      Then again I have never heard of paranoia coming from consuming anything.

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

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        MathFox, 13 Dec 2019 @ 11:02am

        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. ;-)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 11:24am

          Re: Re: Re: What goes in tends to come out

          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. ;-)

          Yeah, and I never drank alcohol until I turned 21, either.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wyrm (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 9:44am

    ... all around her views on approaches to losing weight and health

    (emphasis added)
    Am I the only thinking that you might want to be careful with this phrasing?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 10:09am

      Re:

      Looks like an accurate description of fad diets to me. Especially if you believe you've ingested a toxin and are choosing smoothies over an emergency room.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 9:45am

    Break out your shake weights and green popcorn, things are going to get good here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Zof (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 9:46am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 10:11am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 2:50pm

        Re:

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

        Lynching used to be one such social consequence.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 3:02pm

          Re: Re:

          Lynching used to be one such social consequence.

          Because being deplatformed is totally like being dragged through the mud on a horse or a car and then hung on a tree. Nice analogy there, bucko. [/s]

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Rocky, 13 Dec 2019 @ 4:05pm

            Re: Re: 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.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 7:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              More like being kicked out from a restaurant...

              Until you decide to wear a mask and sneak in that is.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 7:19pm

          Re: Re:

          How's that Grindr lawsuit coming along, Jhon boi?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2019 @ 12:26am

          Re: Re:

          Wow jhonboi. What did you do that your so afraid of people finding out bro?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 10:40am

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

      What does the term "deplatformed" mean?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 5:42am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 5:43am

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

          *They do, people.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 1:54pm

          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.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 1:08pm

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

      Lay off the green smoothies bro.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 2:10pm

      Re: We've turned zofs into shits the past few years

      “So it's not surprising she's this delusional“

      Takes one to know one bro.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 9:51am

    Hopefully a new law is named after her

    Once all of this is taken care of I suspect a new internet law may be named after Robyn Openshaw based on her insane version of the legal system and reality that she is trying to use against the rest of the world.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Tim R (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 10:06am

      Re: Hopefully a new law is named after her

      Absolutely. It's called a federal anti-SLAPP statute, and this is a textbook example of why we need one.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 5:45am

        Re: Re: Hopefully a new law is named after her

        It totally is. I think she's a nut. If she sees this comment, she'll come after me.

        Thanks to TD, I know not to worry and to tell her to bring it on.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 10:12am

    Devin Nunes, to his lawyers: Damn, even I’m not that awful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 10:23am

    Don't Openshaw's actions constitute cyberbullying? Doesn't that violate Facebook's policies? Maybe FB should delete Openshaw's account.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    slap (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 10:27am

    Robyn is creating her reputation

    Good job Robyn. You will be remembered more for this than your smoothies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 11:13pm

      You only get one first impression

      Given this is the first I've ever heard of her or the smoothies, yeah, after this point 'childish tantrum and laughably bad legal threats' will forever more be linked to both her and the drink in my mind.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Berenerd (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 11:09am

    they know that Facebook messenger is not really a legal way of legally contacting someone, right? I mean, we are in the digital age and all, and I am all for not using snail mail, but that is kind of taking class to Donald Trump lows.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Pink (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 11:47am

    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

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 11:52am

    Her Twitter profile is gone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 12:00pm

      Re:

      Is that the start of "The Crumbling Green Smoothie Girl?"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Pink (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 12:02pm

      Re:

      That went poof as soon as Ari Cohn started engaging her. Shortly prior she also learned how to use Facebook tools for privacy and locked that down too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 11:08pm

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Pink (profile), 14 Dec 2019 @ 1:25pm

          Re:

          Apparently she came through as promised and at least two of the targeted people, myself included have been banned from FB and our accounts deleted.

          I guess I'll go check the mail for my subpoena to Utah.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 14 Dec 2019 @ 3:32pm

            Re: Re:

            Because of course FB fell for that garbage...

            Are you able to appeal the decision, or did they go nuclear from the outset and made it a permanent ban?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Pink (profile), 14 Dec 2019 @ 4:06pm

              Re: Re: Re:

              They required me to upload a Gov ID which I struggled with doing. That's just .. crazy. I've had the account for over a decade.

              They did give it back to me after I folded to the Zuckery. So far I'm the only one with a restored account.

              But we do have a new threat so that's exciting :/

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 6:01am

                Re: Re: Re: 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.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Glen, 13 Dec 2019 @ 12:44pm

      Re:

      Looks she has been introduced to the "Streisand effect".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 2:49pm

    Does this involve campus speech in any way?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Flakbait (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 3:24pm

    Not an orange smoothie

    This is just so much fun, I might have to go drink an orange smoothie to celebrate.

    If you're looking to do the opposite of green smoothie, you might want to pop an orange roughy into the blender.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2e/Orange_roughy.png

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 4:07pm

    Jesus fuck, the church of Robyn is super hilarious.

    ...Dunning-Kruger, Streisand, RICO
    It's the end of the world as we know it...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 11:03pm

    ... 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 14 Dec 2019 @ 12:54pm

    Guess she didn't learn from Roca Labs's example.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    NG, 15 Dec 2019 @ 7:44am

    I would not want to inflict harm on innocent third parties, but it sure is tempting to refer GreenSmoothieGirl to Joseph Rakofsky just to see what happens.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tin-Foil-Hat, 15 Dec 2019 @ 9:07am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Slow Joe Crow, 15 Dec 2019 @ 10:15am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 24 Dec 2019 @ 6:22am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Pink (profile), 24 Dec 2019 @ 7:00am

      Re: Good Luck with That

      "have a parent who smells of elderberries" - I'm dead LOL

      We've all lost our Facebook accounts now. Which affects me directly in my ability to do my actual job. So she won after all.

      Thanks for the giggle though.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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