Do Bloggers Have a Right to Publish HATE E-Mails: Perez Hilton, Linda Ikeji and “Flavour’s Other Girlfriend Onyinye”

In Legal Drama by Africa Music Law™3 Comments

LINDA IKEJI FLAVOUR ONYINYE 2After five years of a very long battle, Perez Hilton emerges winner in a case where the  central question was whether bloggers can publish hate mails/emails they receive. Of significance was that Hilton had a “Terms and Conditions” for using his website which the Plaintiff who emailed him agreed to. In addition, the arbitrator found it important that the Perez Hilton website was a gossip site.

As of today, Linda Ikeji’s blog remains on fire with comments after  she published a hate e-mail sent to her by an alleged girlfriend of the artist known as Flavour. While the comments have centered around the emailed threat, there have also been comments about her publishing a private email sent to her, especially given the person’s email is also included. In the Perez Hilton case, the email was also published.

It’s an interesting tension between tort, contract  and constitutional laws (freedom of speech). In Linda’s situation, the woman whose email she published is based in the USA. Further, Linda’s blog is hosted through Google, a California based company. So, since the woman is threatening to sue Ikeji, is there a possibility she will prevail if she sued based on the argument that her email was private and she never agreed for Ikeji to publish her email?  What about Ikeji’s claim of harassment? I’d be interested in your thoughts.

-Uduak

Excerpt from Perez Hilton case.

“On Dec. 27, 2007, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton posted the “Email of the Day,” a communication from a woman named Diane Wargo calling him a “FAT GAY PIG” and Angelina Jolie an “ugly whore.”

Wargo’s full name and e-mail address were given, and she subsequently got hundreds of threatening e-mails and was fired from her job. She sued the blogger born as Mario Lavandeira for $25 million, and eventually the dispute ended up in arbitration.

Now the battle has come to a conclusion, and the lesson that can be drawn is that “gossip” and “privacy” go together like peanut butter and mayonnaise.

Why did it take more than five years to end this dispute?

One of the reasons might have been the complications inherent with determining the meaning of a website’s terms. That is, the legalese that almost nobody reads until something bad happens.

Those who visit PerezHilton.com are advised that they agree to certain conditions.

On one hand, those who “post content or submit material … grant [Hilton] a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual … right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish … distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media.”

On the other hand, the website also advises that it “respects your privacy and is committed to protecting it at all times,” and further, under the section about what personal information about customers is collected, the website says, “We receive and store any personal and financial information you enter on our website or give us in any way.”

Both Hilton and Wargo agreed that the conditions of use constituted an offer to enter into a contract. Wargo accepted it by visiting the website.

But Wargo asserted that Hilton breached the promise of privacy by publishing her communication and that the publication of the “FAT GAY PIG” e-mail was the legal and proximate cause of the termination of her employment, causing her injury and damage.

Late last month, an arbitrator rejected this theory. .  .”  – THR, Esq.

LINDA IKEJI’s Post at Issue

Don’t mean to put this lady on blast but she has refused to leave me alone…even going as far as threatening to sue me…lol. I think she wants some kind of publicity…so here we go! Hehe!

So I’ve been getting mails from this lady called Onyinye (pictured above right, and left with Flavour). She sent the first mail, I ignored her. She sent another one…I ignored her. And then she sent another one threatening to sue me if I keep writing that Beverly Heels is engaged to her man, high life crooner, ‘Flavour’ lol. This will make for a good read so decided to bring it here. #sweet! Haha!

So, I know a few of Flavour’s people…and they were the ones who confirmed to me that Flavour is indeed engaged to Beverly Heels. After Onyinye contacted me, I called one of them to ask if they know this Onyinye lady and they said yes. They said they know she hangs out with Flavour, but can’t confirm if he’s sleeping with dating her. But according to Onyinye, she’s been in a committed relationship with Flavour for the past one year and Beverly is just a ‘hoe’ trying to steal her man.

Onyinye is not the first lady to mail me about Flavour, but I decided to share her email because she’s extremely rude, very uncouth and won’t leave me alone. See the email she sent to me after the cut…

The email…
I understand you are a blogger and the essence of what you do is to report juicy amebor. Unfortunately the last bullshit you posted about my man was not only fictitious but slander to him and our relationship. The nonsense you posted about him being in a “relationship” with that Mbaise prostitute, Chinenye “Beverly Heels” Ukegbu nearly severed my relationship with Flav. It is evident that the fuck shit you write is not credible. Do you not check your source? I suppose not. If you did you would be fully aware that Chinedu Flavour Okoli is in a committed relationship with no one other than ME. I most likely seen me with Flav whenever Im in Lagos. Regardless of the fact that I am based in the US (Silver Spring Maryland), I try to spend as much time with him in Festac, Nigeria or South Africa. In fact Im currently in Enugu helping him with his new music video for Ada Ada.

Flav and I have been together for over a year now. What we have is unbreakable!!!!!!!!! I am fully aware of that prostitute who self proclaims herself as Flavour’s fiancée *rolls eyes*. According to Flavour she’s nothing but a hoe who is trying to get a record deal on 2nite enter-10-ment. She does all this shit for publicity. What do you expect from a hoe who lacks talent? She is non existent in his life. He made a mistake and I forgave him when I traveled to Nigeria in February for Valentine’s Day. And the makeup was MAGICAL! Anyways sha, I am warning you to stop posting bullshit pertaining to my love Flav or our relationship. AND CORRECT d nonsense you posted on your “blog” about my Flav last month.
ps Yes that was me in my baby’s ‘SHAKE’ music video. If you doubt the validity of anything I said, check out the pix ya self.
#BeautifulOnyinye

Onyinye N. Onungwa

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Africa Music Law™

WHAT I DO: I am a California licensed attorney who helps creatives and owners of business enterprises sleep better at night by predicting, preventing issues, and protecting their prized assets through my transactional and litigation services.

WHOM I WORK WITH: I have counseled a range of clients from musicians, models, actors, actresses, and designers, to diverse business owners in numerous areas of the law including contracts, business law, fashion and entertainment law, copyright, trademark and intellectual property law. I bring over two decades of first-hand knowledge and experiences that are as diverse as they are deep in the fashion and entertainment industries. I am an attorney who “gets it” when it comes to resolving legal issues for the fashion and entertainment industries.

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Comments

  1. Both of these bloggers are dead wrong! You don’t publish the email address or the emails of you readers! That is just wrong! If you do sue over this don’t go to arbitration. The arbitrator is going to side with the website or business that carry the arbitration clause because they will give the arbitrator more business in the future. Go for a jury on these email claims! You will do well there! Don’t give up your rights to the unfair process of expensive arbitration!

  2. Don’t read or follow a blog that does this to their audience. If they do this to one person they could do it to you!

  3. Arbitration is a very unfair process because an arbitrator is going to favor the entity who holds the arbitration clause. Plus the expense of arbitration is downright heinous. Normal litigation is costly for a Plaintiff seeking justice but arbitration is ten fold. Most websites who use these clauses know that and that is why they put the arbitration clause in place. The consumer or visitor is allowed to refuse arbitration and they absolutely should. The real moral of the story is if a website publishes your private email and your contact information do not have anything to do with that website.

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