Movie villain James Woods filed a $10 million defamation suit Wednesday against a Twitter user who called him “a cocaine addict,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The probably-pseudonymous Twitter user, “Abe List,” made the crack July 15 in response to an asinine Woods tweet that called Caitlyn Jenner “Bruce” and hyped up the bogus Planned Parenthood “baby parts” scandal in one foul breath.
USATODAY app features Bruce Jenner's latest dress selection, but makes zero mention of Planned Parenthood baby parts market.July 15, 2015
To which Abe List retorted: “cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting.”
Not much is known about the Twitter troll, but the Hollywood Reporter made some guesses based on his(?) now-deleted account: “The defendant’s social media profile suggests that he or she is based in Los Angeles, a partner in private equity, possibly Harvard educated and luckily, married to an attorney.”
Abe List had previously called Woods a prick, a ridiculous scum clown-boy, and a joke, all of which are (delightful) opinions, and thus not anything on which to hang a defamation case. The “cocaine addict” crack (sorry) looks more like a statement of fact, one that Woods denies in his suit.
As THR points out, the burden of proof is on Woods to prove the statement was made maliciously. And, of course, he’ll have to identify “Abe Listed” first, probably by subpoenaing Twitter.
The defendant could attempt to vindicate himself by offering evidence that James Woods does cocaine, but basing a case on Woods’ cartoon alter-ego in Family Guy (who shares a dealer with Kate Moss) is probably not a winning strategy.
Better might be to argue that trolling tweets are a dime a dozen and a reasonable person wouldn’t treat them as true, and that Woods was better off reporting the tweet, blocking the troll (who only had 2,300 followers), and moving on with his life instead of filing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.
At least that way, he wouldn’t have entered the words “cocaine addict James Woods” into the public record and hundreds of Google results.
[Photo: AP Images]