from the stay-classy dept
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? 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:
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.
Oh, and kinda creepy too.
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.Update: 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. going to continue the case to try to unmask who Abe really was.