One question I get over and over again is “Why did you go to the New York Post?“, which is a fair question. If there was another alternative, I didn’t see it. I talk about this at length in the book, but I will give you the cliff notes version of how it all went down.
When I was served with the 112 page complaint, I didn’t know what to do. Like most civilians with no ties to the legal system, it was all very mysterious to me. I was about to close on a real estate deal, one that was going to bring me enough money to become a homeowner. I was so excited about starting this chapter of my life. I was currently living in construction and was desperate to get out of it. The band leader of the P!NK Tribute Band had me under the impression that he had it under control. Alas, he didn’t know what he was doing either. Because of this, I missed an important filing deadline. I didn’t realize I had missed this deadline until about a month and a half later when I finally had my legal representation in place.
I couldn’t believe that a month and a half later I was still in the legal system. After all, I quit the band and signed a memorandum of law stating that I had no interest in owning a name associated with a P!NK Tribute Band. I was done. Furthermore, it was clear that I was a hired employee showing up to do a job. If the Plaintiff in this case had done even 20 minutes of research on me, he would have seen that I was a very active session singer. Also, since he has never met me wouldn’t it make sense to give me the benefit of the doubt on some level? Especially since he is talking about material that he has no legal claim to? As a legal professional, is it not his ethical duty to do so?
My lawyer was not aware that I had missed a filing extension. This was due to my own miscommunication and confusion and listening to someone else that also did not have a grasp on the legal system. My lawyer asked the Plaintiff in the case (who is also a personal injury attorney and representing himself) if we could please have an extension to file for a motion to dismiss. At this point my legal fees were around $3200 defending myself for doing absolutely nothing wrong at all. Our first email went ignored, our second email was met with the response I am about to share with you.
Before you read it, keep in mind I had not gone to the press yet, and I didn’t want to go to the press. I wanted to get this wrapped up and out of my life. I had only spoken about it once or twice on Facebook. I never mentioned the Plaintiff’s full name, nor did I ever insult him or say anything that wasn’t true (despite the fact that he insulted me at length in the court documents and made non factual statements about me). I merely joked in a status update that he could have started his own P!NK Tribute band in the time he drafted the 112 page complaint, I also jokingly offered to coach him on time management. I mean the situation was so absurd, why not put some humor not it? The band leader, however, was calling him a loser and using The Plaintiff’s full name on his own Facebook Page. The band leaders actions have nothing to do with mine, obviously. Despite that I was forwarded the following email. I have replaced the band leaders name with his last initial and have left the name of The Plaintiff out.
Your request for an extension of your time to interpose an answer is denied.
Normally I make a practice of going out of my way to accommodate my adversary, and extend every conceivable courtesy. However, since your client and her scumbag band leader have chosen to falsely impugn and disparage my character and reputation as a professional, via social media, I will not extend any such courtesy in the instant action.
I suggest you advise your client against such antics in the future, lest she find herself on the wrong end of yet another lawsuit for defamation of character.
If she thinks being sued once is disruptive, my guess is she will really hate being the target of a second action.
Furthermore, your client’s position that she was a hired gun whose only commitment to N. was that of a “one-off” is facetious at best.
Unfortunately for Ms. McClafferty (sic), Mr. N. can’t have a bowel movement without announcing it publicly on Facebook. His self absorbed (sic) stupidly and constant need for attention and validation has virtually guaranteed me success on the merits as against all three defendants.
It is because of his big mouth that she finds herself in the unenviable position of being in my cross hairs.
(Obviously, I will leave out his name).
So basically, here I am being sued for $10,000,000 by a man I have never met, a lawyer representing himself. He is fully admitting in this email that he is going after me because of the actions of his former friend and bandmate. He says so verbatim. He is insulting me in his court documents, which contain non factual statements about me. He is keeping me locked into a case I had no business being subjected to in the first place. He is threatening me with a second lawsuit because of another person’s actions. My legal fees are up to $3200. I am living in construction. I can’t move forward with my real estate deal until I get out of this case. At this point, my lawyer breaks the news that I may be in litigation for years, potentially ringing up tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees because I missed a filing deadline. I am stuck in the legal system simply because this stranger feels like doing this to me.
This is when my journey with Acute Stress Disorder began. It was all too surreal. I started to feel like I was living in a vacuum or a movie. I was starting to become numb. So now, not only are my home ownership dreams detained, I have to live in construction because of this man’s decision to drag me into the legal system. At this point, I am shocked, scared and panicked. I started day drinking to cope with the stress of it all. In this photo I am looking at my feet and my glass of wine asking myself, “How did this become my life?”. Something told me to take a photo to capture that moment.
My lawyer is advising me to go to the press because at this point, it is the only way out. Later that night, I called the New York Post at around 10:30PM. What is funny, is that I called them at night because I wanted to leave a message on their machine.I knew there was a good chance they would never even listen to my message. I still didn’t want to go public. I just didn’t see any other options. Running up a $30,000 legal bill for performing in a $75 show seemed completely unacceptable to me. It didn’t seem reasonable that a lawyer could draft up endless paperwork and put me in a position of having to cough up thousands of dollars when I didn’t do anything wrong. A guy who worked in the mailroom just happened to be sitting at the News Tip desk and had randomly picked up the phone. The rest is history.
It never occurred to me that The New York post would also decide to punish me for doing nothing wrong. I had worked with them before and had a great experience in the past. I’ve had staffers from the NY Post who were not involved with any of the stories personally apologize to me. When you have staffers apologizing, you know there is something shady going on.
As my lawyer predicted, the Plaintiff wanted to drop it the second it went public….under the condition I never speak about it again. Obviously, this was not an option at all, as I had just been globally defamed based off of statements that were made about me by this individual. I communicated to my lawyer that of course The Plaintiff would be paying my legal fees in full, as it was he who wrongfully put me in this situation. My lawyer called me and told me his best offer was to pay half. Wow, what an insult. All this coming from someone I have never even met.
So that’s why I went to The New York Post folks. Because I had to.