This has nothing to do with skiing, but it has everything to do with blogging, my real estate blog in particular. I can’t ski all year around, so in the summer, I work in real estate. I will preface this news by saying that I am very happy with the commenters on SkiHere for keeping the discussion respectful. As I’ve always said, you can disagree without being disagreeable.
Some of you are aware of this litigation, and I’m happy to report that it has been recently resolved. In Oct 2011, I initiated a defamation lawsuit against an anonymous internet blogger who went by the name of Squidly77. When I unmasked him, it turns out his real name was Gary Michael Bench. Occasionally he posted comments under a variety of different names on SkiHere which I deleted quickly. For example, when I revamped SkiHere back in Sept 2011, Gary Bench, under the alias “Suzzanne,” was one of the first to post a comment as follows:
Suing Gary Bench, receiving a public apology, and holding him accountable for his lies was a matter of principle for me.
Before I was blogging about skiing, I was running a very popular real estate blog. Someone who hated realtors and had maniacal anti-real estate views took it upon himself to start a blog which was mostly dedicated to trashing me.
Some of his rantings appeared to be physical threats, and I was concerned that he was stalking me. He mentioned that he saw me skiing, and I knew it was true because he described my skiing style as stumbling around out there. 🙂
The guy was completely obsessed with me for some reason. I eventually installed tracking software on my real estate blog and have evidence that he logged into my blog up to 17 times a day.
Here’s what I posted on my personal Facebook page:
Big news! Over three years ago, I commenced a lawsuit against an anonymous blogger( who went by the name of Squidly77 ) who was posting statements which were defamatory and damaging to me personally and to my real estate business. Many of the things he was saying were outright lies. I tracked him down(a fascinating story in itself), and after many delays and roadblocks it finally went to trial. When it was his turn to take the stand, he chose to settle the matter “out-of-court.” He issued an apology and signed an Agreement, the terms of which I agreed not to disclose. I did not know him previous to this lawsuit.
Gary Bench’s apology: