On Wednesday, Stephen Elliott filed a lawsuit against Moira Donegan, the creator of the Shitty Media Men list, in which he asks for $1,500,000 in damages, alleging that his inclusion on the list and “[t]he wholly unsubstantiated allegations published in the List, particularly with regard to allegations about Plaintiff, contained numerous false statements alleging criminal sexual conduct on the part of Plaintiff.”
Moreover, he wishes to further out the people who contributed to the spreadsheet. As Elliott writes in his complaint, “Plaintiff will know, through initial discovery, the names, email addresses, pseudonyms and/or “Internet handles” used by Jane Doe Defendants to create the List, enter information into the List, circulate the List, and otherwise publish information in the List or publicize the List.”
He then goes on to list the entry in which he was named: “On or about October 11, 2017, Defendants published Plaintiff’s full name in the List, along with the names of several other men connected to the media industry; Plaintiff’s name was entry #13, along with an AFFILIATION of “Freelance writer/novelist.” Defendants further published the defamatory allegations of, “Rape accusations, sexual harassment” [sic] under the ALLEGED MISCONDUCT column heading.”
At the end of September, Elliott wrote an essay for Quillette with the rather hyperbolic title, “How An Anonymous Accusation Derailed My Life.” In his complaint, he lists some of the repercussions he claims to have suffered, from lower than expected book sales to people blocking him or unfriending him on social media. (He also states he “became extremely depressed as a direct result of the List.”)
In January, Donegan outed herself as the creator of the list, after she heard word that Harper’s was about to publish an essay that named her as its creator.
You can read the full complaint below.