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View Full Version : Welcome to My World by Johnny Weir - It's here, deal with it!



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gkelly
02-23-2011, 03:10 PM
Also, even if you'd be guaranteed to win the suit, if the plaintiff doesn't believe that to be the case you still need to mount a defense, and that gets expensive.

It's perfectly possible for someone to want to avoid a lawsuit they know that they'll win.

danceronice
02-23-2011, 04:38 PM
Possible, but unless they're threatening to sue in British courts (where the libel and slander laws a VERY stacked for the plaintiff, not saying that's a bad thing, just saying) libel suits are hard to prove and if someone was sincerely threatening to go to court and they were willing to pull material (rather than think they can get it dropped or settled quickly) that argues pretty strongly there isn't much to back up the pulled material.

Unless the defendant is really broke and can't afford even a little time in court to get matters thrown out.

antmanb
02-23-2011, 04:42 PM
Possible, but unless they're threatening to sue in British courts (where the libel and slander laws a VERY stacked for the plaintiff, not saying that's a bad thing, just saying) libel suits are hard to prove and if someone was sincerely threatening to go to court and they were willing to pull material (rather than think they can get it dropped or settled quickly) that argues pretty strongly there isn't much to back up the pulled material.

Really? I'm not a defamation lawyer but I was always under the impression that proving damage in a libel/slander case in the Enligsh courts was very difficult. I was actually going to make the point that I doubt there would be much that Johnny could say that would tick the box for damage caused to a person in his book. For starters the book has not done so well so the number of people it has been exposed to would be relevant to the question of damage done.

Ant

Squibble
02-23-2011, 06:40 PM
Truth is not a defense to a suit for invasion of privacy.

http://www.suite101.com/content/invasion-of-privacy-torts-a140776


Public Disclosure of Private Facts

The public disclosure of private facts is an actionable invasion of privacy if it would be highly offensive to the ordinary person to have those facts publicized, and if the facts are not legitimately matters of public concern. This tort amounts to unreasonable publicity about the plaintiff, but it must involve facts that are not already part of the public record. It is not a defense that the facts about the plaintiff are true, so long as the other criteria are met.

MacMadame
02-23-2011, 10:22 PM
I always get a good laugh when someone says that they pulled content from their book because of the fear of a possible lawsuit. If the content that the autor pulled was in fact true, then they do not have to worry about a lawsuit because an absloute defense to an allegation of libel is that what was printed is the truth.
Actually, everyone has to fear a lawsuit. Anyone can file one after all. ;)

But, if someone sues you for libel, they have to prove that you lied for profit. So that makes it hard to win these sorts of suits if you have any proof at all that what you are talking about actually happened.

Since Johnny wrote an autobiography (and not a biography of someone else), I would assume that he was a party to the interactions he had written about. Therefore, any accusations he made would come down to "he said; they said". It would be extremely difficult to win a lawsuit based on "I didn't say that to you." "Yes, you did!"

Plus, what kind of damages would the other party have? I doubt USFS would pull a judges appointments based on something Weird said, for example. Without damages, there isn't a lot of incentive for a lawsuit.

Now, if the stuff he pulled out was anecdotes he'd been told by someone else, then he would have to worry about being successfully sued for libel. But those sorts of gossipy stories shouldn't have been in the book to begin with IMO.


Not if you don't have proof... At that point, whether it's true or not makes not one bit of difference to the courts.
But the guy suing for libel has the job of proving what was said was not true.


Truth is not a defense to a suit for invasion of privacy.
Most of the people Johnny could have been writing about would be considered public figures though. Maybe the people in our sport aren't as famous as Michael Jordan, but they are famous enough and do their jobs out in the public. They wouldn't have the same expectation of privacy that someone like you or I would have.

Squibble
02-23-2011, 10:46 PM
Most of the people Johnny could have been writing about would be considered public figures though. Maybe the people in our sport aren't as famous as Michael Jordan, but they are famous enough and do their jobs out in the public. They wouldn't have the same expectation of privacy that someone like you or I would have.

It depends.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_figure


Public figure is a legal term applied in the context of defamation actions (libel and slander) as well as invasion of privacy. A public figure (such as a politician, celebrity, or business leader) cannot base a lawsuit on incorrect harmful statements unless there is proof that the writer or publisher acted with malice (knowledge or reckless disregard for the truth). The burden of proof is higher in the case of a public figure.

The controlling precedent in the United States was set in 1964 by the United States Supreme Court in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. It is considered a key decision in supporting the First Amendment and freedom of the press.
A fairly high threshold of public activity is necessary to elevate people to public figure status. Typically, they must either be: a public figure, either a public official or any other person pervasively involved in public affairs, or
a limited purpose public figure, meaning those who have "thrust themselves to the forefront of particular public controversies in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved." A "particularized determination" is required to decide whether a person is a limited purpose public figure, which can be variously interpreted....

I would guess that Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek would be considered a public figure. Johnny Weir's ex-boyfriend probably wouldn't. Someone like former U.S. silver medalist Brandon Mroz might or might not be.

If I were advising Weir about his manuscript and had even the slightest doubt as to either (1) malice or (2) someone's possible status as a public figure, I would recommend omitting anything that might be considered an invasion of that person's privacy.

overedge
02-23-2011, 11:00 PM
Really? I'm not a defamation lawyer but I was always under the impression that proving damage in a libel/slander case in the Enligsh courts was very difficult. I was actually going to make the point that I doubt there would be much that Johnny could say that would tick the box for damage caused to a person in his book. For starters the book has not done so well so the number of people it has been exposed to would be relevant to the question of damage done.


The UK courts have become notorious for "libel tourism" because the definitions of publishing and distributing information can be so broadly interpreted. Basically, anyone who was the subject of anything that was available to anyone in the UK, regardless of whether the item originated there, so the UK courts have unfortunately become a place where individuals trying to suppress information they don't agree with - not information that isn't necessarily false - are filing lawsuits to intimidate authors. This website has a good description of the problem.

http://www.legal-project.org/issues/uk-libel-law

So in the case of Johnny's book, if the same interpretation applies that has been used in some of the cases described on this website, the fact that excerpts of the book were available online could be the basis for a libel lawsuit in the UK if there are people in the UK with computers who could find and read those excerpts. And no, I'm not exaggerating.

MacMadame
02-23-2011, 11:05 PM
I would guess that Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek would be considered a public figure. Johnny Weir's ex-boyfriend probably wouldn't. Someone like former U.S. silver medalist Brandon Mroz might or might not be.


I'd consider them all to be. They've all been on tv, for example. They all have bios on the ISU site. They all have web sites. Some of them (all) have blogs.

Then again, I consider myself a public figure because I blog. So I probably shouldn't have said they don't have the same expectations of privacy that I have. :cool:

sus2850
02-24-2011, 10:55 PM
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Carolla5501
02-24-2011, 11:03 PM
I think if he KNEW he could defend it and KNEW it was the "truth" he would have fought to leave it in...

I think that he "knows" he makes things "dramatic" and that it wouldn't stand up to review.

But I agree, what doer HIS motivation have to do with lawsuits??? Was he planning to sue his alter ego?

Justathoughtabl
02-24-2011, 11:55 PM
I think if he KNEW he could defend it and KNEW it was the "truth" he would have fought to leave it in...

I think that he "knows" he makes things "dramatic" and that it wouldn't stand up to review.

But I agree, what doer HIS motivation have to do with lawsuits??? Was he planning to sue his alter ego?


Alter ego? What alter ego? :confused:
Maybe it's not a matter of making things dramatic. Maybe it's a matter of remembering something that happened, but there being no written record of it having happened.

barbk
02-25-2011, 03:48 AM
Johnny reminds me a lot of Toller Cranston.

flowerpower
02-25-2011, 05:28 AM
Johnny reminds me a lot of Toller Cranston.

Both are memorable and larger-than-life personalities, absolutely.

However Toller had a very personal artistic vision that he was able to bring to the ice, changing figure skating in the process. I never got that sense from Johnny. Although Johnny was a beautiful skater, his choreography, at least as a competitor, came from others.

Now Toller's a guy who knew how to tell a tale or two in his books...;) :lol:

made_in_canada
02-25-2011, 07:17 AM
I finally was able to borrow the book and I'm about halfway through the book now. It's making me feel sorry for Johnny. The entire portion of the book I've read with the exception of the chapter about Alex and his sexuality gives me the impression that Johnny never really skated because of passion and I never get the impression that he gets any joy out of it. To me anyway, much of the skating stuff seems like he's almost trying to convince himself that he likes the sport and almost insincere. He focuses almost completely on the attention he gets from being a skater and the thrill of winning and other peripherals. The actual skating is just the vehicle to get him fame and attention.

The chapter about his sexuality I found incredibly genuine which I did not expect. It's the only chapter thus far that I didn't perceive him as an entitled brat. I don't know if I'm articulating myself very well but I found that a little surprising.

Then again I may be reading way more into a Johnny Weir autobiography then anyone should :lol:

IceAlisa
02-27-2011, 11:22 PM
I am on page 152 and so far the book is better than this thread has lead me to believe. I find his voice (well, his and his ghost writer's, I suppose) sincere, alternately cocky and humble but ultimately, honest.

I really enjoy his descriptions of how classical music made him feel and how he was described as a Russian-style skater. That was my first impression of him when I first saw his skating--how Russian he looked. The extension, the line, the attention to detail and the balletic musicality of his skating is what made me a fan. Of course, his use of the blade, edging and elegance were huge factors too.

And I believe that this is the person on the page. The chapter on sexuality was very well done and that's a hard one to pull in in a convincing way. Yes, the obsession with designer clothes and name dropping is a bit grating but that's part of who he is. And I am willing to put up with that in exchange for the art on ice he has given us, skating fans.

And he does mention his fans, specifically the online discussion. I wonder if he meant FSU. :P