Rosemary Port (pictured, right), a 29-year-old student at Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology, was identified by Google last week as the author of the “Skanks in NYC” blog, on which she anonymously assailed model Liskula Cohen as a skank, a ho, and an old hag, and posted photos of Cohen (below) striking sexually suggestive poses. Cohen sued Google in January to identify the author of the blog, which ran on Google’s Blogger service. (The site has been taken down, so don’t bother looking.)
Port, who dodged reporters until now, gave the New York Daily News an interview that ran in today’s paper. Here’s the quotes-only version:
This has become a public spectacle and a circus that is not my doing … By going to the press, she defamed herself. Before her suit, there were probably two hits on my Web site: One from me looking at it, and one from her looking at it. That was before it became a spectacle. I feel my right to privacy has been violated … When I was being defended by attorneys for Google, I thought my right to privacy was being protected. But that fell right through the cracks. Without any warning, I was put on a silver platter for the press to attack me. I would think that a multi-billion dollar conglomerate would protect the rights of all its users … I feel proud to live in a country where you’re not persecuted for your opinions. Even though people are now taking pot shots at me on the Web, I believe those people have a right to their opinions — and their anonymity.
The devil is in the details in this case. Attorney Aaron Morris, who specializes in Internet law and edits the Internet Defamation Blog, wrote about the case:
Look carefully at the comments. Defamation arises when someone falsely accuses someone else of, basically, illegal, immoral or unethical conduct. The comments don’t charge her merely with being a skank, but claim she is psychotic, a liar and a whore. The action would never have survived review if all that had been said is that she is a skank. That term is ill-defined and nebulous enough that arguably one could from the pictures form the opinion that word is an appropriate description. But what is the justification for the remainder of the remarks? What is the factual basis for calling her psychotic, or saying she is a lying whore? The comments go far beyond calling her a skank.
Call her thin-skinned if you want, but the case is about whether Google can be compelled to turn over the name of the blogger who made these unjustified remarks. Reports say Cohen buried her head in her hands and broke down in a Manhattan court this past Wednesday, crying as vulgar insults about her were read aloud from the Skanks in NYC web site.
Cohen, the model, seems to be an anger magnet. In 2007, she required 46 stitches to her face after a drunk bar patron hurled a water glass, a champagne flute and a mixed drink glass at her head.
[Photo credits: New York Daily News]