A New York attorney is suing two of his exes for posting about him on the website liarscheatersrus.com. We took a look at the website he claims is ruining his career.
According to FindLaw, Matthew Couloute, Jr. is suing Stacey Blitsch and Amanda Ryncarz for posting on the site that he "Cheated on ALL of ex-girlfriends" and "lied and cheated his entire way through his 40 years of life." They also allegedly wrote, "BE FOREWARNED, HE'S SCUM. RUN FAR AWAY." Couloute is alleging that the posts have cost him clients, but FindLaw's Stephanie Rabiner writes that he probably doesn't have a case — she notes that "if true, these statements are not fraudulent misrepresentations or defamation." And Blitsch and Ryncarz are now suing Couloute with the help of Gloria Allred.
Liarscheatersrus.com is currently down, possibly as a result of the current legal scuffle. But a review of some cached pages reveals an interesting — and disturbing — mix of rage, misery, and revenge. The homepage addresses infidelity victims directly:
Has anyone dated your spouse? Have you trusted and put yourself on the line for someone who turned out to be a player or a married person? Are you the victim of a home wrecker? You can not only find others that have been similarly victimized, but you can also report the perpetrators of these games to the world and save others from the heartache. Wouldn't you like to help others and prevent the people who cheated on you or tried to steal your husband and wife from doing it again?
Whether the posters on the site want to help others or simply vent is an open question. Some of the posts make serious allegations:
This man has cheated on his wife with more women than is humanly imaginable. His looks get him anything he wants, and he lies as easily as most of us breathe. He has beaten his wife, is currently incarcerated, but will be out in one year, doing it all over again…. So sad….
Some mix the serious with the trivial:
This man is the worst person I've ever met in my entire life. He lied from the day we met. He said he was 31 years old, but he is 38. He said he was a physician at a local hospital, and when I found out he wasn't, he lied and said it was my misunderstanding, and he was in medical school currently working as a PA while he's in school. He's really just a lab tech at a local hospital. He said he has been divorced for 2 years, and has one son. He is STILL married, and has 3 children with his wife of 14 years. He claims to be 6′ tall, but he's only 5'10″.
And some seem to speak to relationship problems that have nothing to do with lying or cheating:
He will come on strong, the complete charmer for the first 3 months. After he has made his score, he will back off and run. Then if you ever remind him of all the things he said or wrote to you about love, he will not remember. He will blame you for every single thing that is wrong in his life even if you have poured out 100% of your life to support his dreams and goals. I know because I did for year.
As Rabiner says, if these statements are true, they fall well within the bounds of free speech. But liarscheatersrus also seems like a great place to smear your ex, whether or not he or she actually did anything wrong. The site doesn't employ any obvious fact-checking, and so it has the potential to become a sort of "slut list" for grownups, a place where people can anonymously bash others without any proof. Don't Date Him Girl has already mined this territory — and a lawsuit against that site was dismissed in 2007. Still, Rabiner notes that "even though Matthew Couloute may not prevail on this claim, keep in mind that, with slightly different facts, a posting on liarschetersrus.com (or any other such site) could form the basis of a successful and costly lawsuit." And even if alleged liars and cheaters don't find legal recourse, posting anonymously on a website may not be a particularly good response to infidelity. In response to a woman wondering whether to tell her ex's new lady that he was in the closet, Slate's Emily Yoffe recently wrote,
Let's say you were the happy young woman engaged to the man of your dreams. Would you want his ex to come along and ruin everything by telling you that he is a closeted gay man who is secretly having promiscuous sex? I sure would! It's always easier in cases like this to just let adults make their own decisions and find out (or not) what's really going on.
That's doubly true if you're planning on posting incriminating information on the internet. It may feel good at the time, but it's unlikely to sway somebody who's intent on dating your nasty ex. And it might get you sued.
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