Shakespeare said it best, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” And no man knows the truth of those words better than former Norwalk, Connecticut prosecutor Matthew C. Couloute Jr.
When several of the young attorney’s former lovers flamed him on the website LiarsCheatersRUs.com, their blast of virtual vitriol became the top search result on Google and landed him several headlines in the New York Post.
Prior to his online infamy Mattew C. Couloute Jr. enjoyed a legal career that would inspire envy in most. He was the youngest attorney to serve as a prosecutor for the state of Connecticut; he worked for the National Football League; AND he served as a consultant for MSNBC and Court TV. But sadly his ex-girlfriend’s revenge posts are what brought him the most fame — and now an online defamation lawsuit.
Basis for Online Defamation Lawsuit Claims
Through a quick glance at Matthew C. Couloute Jr.’s LiarsCheatersRUs.com profile, one reads from an anonymous poster that Couloute has allegedly “lied and cheated his entire way through his 40 years of life.” The comments section of the page, which boasts ninety-one entries, includes posts that caution readers to “be forewarned,” as Couloute is “scum”, and that upon meeting him one should “run far away.”
In an interview with the New York Post Matthew C. Couloute Jr. attempts to shed light on his Internet reputation problem and girl troubles. He describes two of his dalliances with, former roller-derby star “Malibu” Stacey Blitsch and Amanda Ryncarz, as “youthful indiscretions.” And then further explains his past relationship with Blitsch by saying “Everyone has that person they dated in their life where you say, ‘Oh, that’s a mistake.’ I have a child with my mistake.”
Although Couloute’s clarifications won’t win him chivalry points, he cites the online remarks as the source of his social scorn and asserts that they have injured his reputation. “The posts came up when I was purchasing a house with my wife. Clients ask me about what’s going on… Even my mom was upset with me.” But Matthew C. Couloute Jr. did not take is digital disparagement lying down.
Couloute’s Online Defamation Lawsuit
Couloute filed a lawsuit against two of his exes whom he presumed to be the generators of the unflattering posts. In his suit, Couloute claims that Rycarz and Blitsch, intended to do grave “damage to his prospective business relationships” through a series of “malicious” reports posted on an online slam-site.
But does he have a case?
Online defamation poses an interesting legal challenge. On the one hand, the advice shared on LiarsCheatersRUs.com can be described as free speech, which is protected by the First Amendment. But posting mean messages about an ex-love online is not the same as dishing about him or her over drinks. Word of mouth travels at the speed of speech, but an online post can disseminate gossip at the speed of light, attracting millions of hits in a matter of minutes.
So if you want to play it safe, it may be better to keep your thoughts to yourself and leave the cyber-bashing to those with excellent legal counsel.