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James Woods Sues Anonymous Twitter User for $10 Million

Hollywood Reporter
I would wager that James Woods has probably been accused of all sorts of things on Twitter and other online platforms over the years. Most public figures have, and this might not even be the first time the accusations have found their way back to him, but he's taking it seriously this time. The root cause of the conflict is unclear, but a Twitter user going by the name 'Abe List' made a comment which suggested that Woods was a cocaine addict, and now he's lawyered up.

This jab came as a part of a lengthy series of anti-Woods tweets stretching over months, whoever Abe List is, he/she really doesn't like him, to the point at which you wonder how accurate the evil version of the actor depicted in Family Guy really is. Can Woods really sue an anonymous Twitter user though? Well, now that the cocaine reference has come into it, yes, he can. Such a statement counts as defamation and the fact that it's part of a wider written attack on the actor suggests a libellous smear campaign, both of which are illegal.

The normal response to this kind of behaviour would be to contact Twitter directly and have the offending account either cautioned or suspended, depending on the severity of the case and Abe List has indeed been suspended, but Woods is clearly seeking to make an example of them. Such lawsuits have been successful in the past, one Texas couple won a case against an online abuser to the tune of $14 million in 2012, but the claims being made against them were far broader than just being on coke.

In this case, his lawyers will need to prove that the claims made against him were so damaging that his finances were negatively affected. It's kind of a tall order, and even beyond that I'm willing to bet that whoever Abe List is, they don't have $10 million lying around in a mattress somewhere, meaning that they'll have to cough up whatever they can afford and then probably file for bankruptcy. It seems like a fairly disproportionate response, if claims of having taken cocaine were enough to put Hollywood actors out of work, there would be a lot less films coming out. OH NO HE DIDN'T.

The greatest irony of this is that James Woods is routinely nasty to dozens of other people on Twitter, mostly democrats, none of whom have every tried to sue him for defamation. Actually, the greatest irony might be that by responding so strongly and so directly to the cocaine reference, Woods has made himself look more suspicious than he would have done if he had just risen above the whole thing. It's just a really stupid situation, I would wager that the lawsuit will soon hit a dead end, reminding us all that social media has completely changed the way we think about negative press. Woods meanwhile can return to pretending he still has a viable career.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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James Woods Sues Anonymous Twitter User for $10 Million Reviewed by Callum Davies on Thursday, August 06, 2015 Rating: 5

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