UPDATE: Nearly two years later, a settlement has been reached in James Woods‘ defamation lawsuit. According to a clerk for Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana, an attorney for the actor announced the settlement in a hearing.
While the terms of the settlement have not been revealed, the anonymous defendant, known by the Twitter handle “Abe List,” died before a resolution was reached. Woods originally filed a complaint for defamation and invasion of privacy by false light in 2015 after the Twitter user called the actor a “cocaine addict” online. At the time, he sought $10 million in damages.
Be careful what you tweet, folks.
James Woods is suing a Twitter user for $10 million after he was accused on the social media site of being a “cocaine addict.”
According to docs obtained by E! News, Woods has filed a complaint for defamation and invasion of privacy by false light after a Twitter user who goes by the handle “Abe List” (referred to as “AL” in court docs) sent a “message to thousands of AL’s followers and hundreds of thousands of Mr. Woods followers.”
The message in question was sent on July 15 and read “cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting.” Abe List’s Twitter account has since been deleted.
“Woods is not now, nor has he even been a cocaine addict, and AL had no reason to believe otherwise,” the filing states, adding that AL’s tweets, which began as “childish name-calling,” have “clearly escalated beyond the projects of free speech.”
The 68-year-old actor is asking for $10 million “in damages caused by AL’s outrageous conduct.”
Through the lawsuit, Woods hopes to “unmask and reveal AL for the liar he really is.”
“The owner of the AL Twitter Account has thousands of followers and, since at least December 2014, has undertaken to engage his followers with a campaign of childish name-calling targeting against Woods,” continues the suit. “In the past, AL has referred to Woods with such derogatory terms as ‘prick,’ ‘joke,’ ‘ridiculous,’ ‘scum’ and ‘clown-boy.'”
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Woods, because he is a public figure, will have to prove actual malice.
The docs do not state whether the actor tried to block the Twitter user or whether he filled out a Twitter abuse form to report the incident.
(Originally published July 30, 2015 at 2:02 p.m. PST)