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Every thought I have is fascinating.

The time I got sued for five million dollars

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I've never told this story before because I didn't want to poke a bear. But now the bear is dead, so I might as well tell it -

About ten years ago, my doorbell rang and it was a legal operative of some kind with some documents for me. I opened them and was notified that I was being sued for five million dollars, by David D'amato (AKA Terri Tickle) who was infamous in the tickling community for having blackmailed and slandered and outed dozens of male college kids who he had paid to make tickling videos for him while posing as a female college student named "Terri DeSisto."

His anonymity ended when he DOS-attacked a university to punish a kid who had simply decided to stop making videos for him - if someone did that, D'Amato would go on a full attack against them by spamming their email address, doxxing them, and contacting their families, friends, and places of employment. And in this case, he spammed the kids university with emails that were designed to seem like they were coming from the kid himself - in other words, because this kid stopped making videos for him, David D'amato tried to get him thrown OUT of college and IN jail.

DOSing a state university is a federal crime, and he was hunted down by the FBI and I believe he served some time in jail over it. But as soon as he got out, he went right back to work, more aggressively than ever, eventually becoming the subject of the documentary "Tickled."

The lawsuit was for slander, and it was based on the fact that people had accurately described his activities. You didn't have to lie about him to portray him in the worst imaginable light.

I immediately went into a panic, but my mother who had worked in the court system for her whole life took one look at it and said "Throw it away, it's nothing."

It turned out that she was right about it being nothing. The judge ended up dismissing it completely, but even before that happened a member of their staff prepared a report that I was able to read because I was named in the suit. In it, they explained what a forum is, and how content is posted by the members not the owner. So they recommended excusing me from the suit, and if it had gotten that far I'm sure that's what would have happened.

And if that had been the whole story, I'd have probably forgotten about it by now. However, D'amato also named my web hosts in the suit (along with yahoo, google, and anyone else he could dream up.) From their point of view, this was just an unnecessary expense and hassle, because they couldn't just ignore it the way I could. They had to hand it to their lawyers, who were going to be billing them by the second for every minute they spent thinking about it.

So I got a call from the company, saying "Wrap it up - take a couple of hours to settle your affairs and then prepare to have your website shut down."

Needless to say, that sent me even further into a panic. Back then it could take weeks to move the forum from one place to another, so it was crucial that I convince them not to pull the trigger on this.

So I explained a brief history of the situation, and what had caused the lawsuit, and in a moment of inspired improvisation, said "How about if I make D'amato's name and aliases, and related topics into banned words on my forum, making it literally impossible to discuss this anymore."

They said they needed to think about it, but that they'd delay shutting me down while they talked it over. And in the end, they accepted my proposal and for years that was the deal here - "D'amato" and "terri tickle" and a bunch of other words would be replaced with asterisks if you used them. Every once in a while someone would try to mention Gus D'amato, Mike Tyson's trainer, and they'd bump into that issue.

But now that fat sociopath is dead, apparently by his own hand out of humiliation. Nobody deserved to want to kill themselves more than that life-ruining monster. Not because of his lawsuit against me, which was not that big of a deal, but because of the dozens of other lives he ruined, or tried to ruin, or fucked with just because he was born rich and could get away with it.

I'm glad he's dead, and I hope it hurt.
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    Wow... I'm really glad your Mom was there to help you feel better about the situation. What a nightmare.

    I didn't' realize he commited suicide till now... I assumed it was a heart attack. Well... at least we can now say he did something right for once in his life.
    I don't know that for a fact, but if it's a heart attack I think they'd say he died of natural causes or something. The fact that they wouldn't say how he died is what made people at the time, myself included, assume it was a suicide.
    That's true. Good point.
    I can't stand the kind of person that you described.


    (How D'Amato was, I mean)

    Someone who wants to hurt others for no reason.

    I'm very sorry that you went through that, Jeff.

    I can understand your feelings about his death.

    May the greater force judge him in death, for the way he lived life, if you know what I mean.
    I was horrified over his behaviour when I saw the Tickled documentary, and I'm very glad that in the end he wasn't able to affect the forum and you personally, Jeff. It's good to know that bullies don't always prosper - even rich ones.
    I remember this. I didn't really get it at the time cuz I was young and didn't know about the dude but omg what a vile gross person
    Nice
    i remember him from back in the day..That is crazy..friggen people man..im glad its over and we are all still here
    I am just seeing this now. Wow. Yeah, I am in complete agreement with your final words, what a freaking lowlife.

    I have to say though....I laughed when you said people ran into problems writing about Gus D'Amato! I'd guess Senator Al wasn't far behind! :P

    There's lowlifes....and then there's lowlifes. A lowlife with access to entirely too much money.
    He deserved it.