SBD/April 29, 2013/People and Pop Culture
Burke Files Libel Lawsuit Against Internet Commentators Who Alleged Broadcaster Affair
Published April 29, 2013
WATCH WHAT YOU SAY: In Toronto, Amy Dempsey wrote Burke’s “mission to unmask 18 anonymous commentators who he alleges defamed him underscores a point many are learning the hard way as cyber-libel cases become increasingly common: What is written online, even anonymously, can come back to bite the authors.” Libel lawyer RYDER GILLILAND said, “This will be a very public reminder to people that you can get sued for what you publish on the Internet.” Getting court orders compelling web hosts to identify the defendants is "something that judges in Canada are generally willing to do, depending on the strength of the case.” But it is “likely to be an arduous process.” At least one of the 18 people named in Burke’s lawsuit “responded late Friday, anonymously, to the allegations.” Twitter user @THEzbrad wrote, “Brian Burke is suing me. I think he’s just angry that ‘his’ Toronto team finally made the playoffs. Sorry Burkey” (TORONTO STAR, 4/28).
CALLED TO ACCOUNT: Mae's attorney, IAIN MACKINNON, wrote in a statement, “Hazel Mae fully supports the lawsuit brought forth by Mr. Burke and feels strongly that people should be held accountable for writing and spreading malicious lies over the Internet. Ms. Mae is still considering all of her legal options. She will not be commenting further on the matter at this time” (Rogers Sportsnet).