Opinion: Why I think Wes Bellamy should sue for libel...
|(Image courtesy of Facebook)|
Folks, Wes Bellamy did a really, really horrible and despicable thing. His comments were racist, sexist, homophobic, and all around despicable, and any reasonable human being would denounce them without hesitation, as do I. Despite that, he cannot and should not be jailed for his speech, no matter how despicable. I don't advocate that even for people I really, really don't like. That being said, a new blog and Facebook page popped up today, and I'd like to take a second to talk about why, in my opinion, after this is all over, Bellamy should seek out the responsible party, and sue them in a court of law for libel. The post above labels Bellamy a "sex predator". Although Bellamy's tweets were sexist, chauvinistic, and seemed to glorify rape, there is NO EVIDENCE that I have seen that this man is a "sex predator".
|What he did was wrong, but no reason to stop hm from being able to walk down a street. (Image courtesy of Facebook)|
This is the fatal flaw that this mysterious poster has made, they have knowingly posted an untrue statement about Mr. Bellamy. If ever there was a hill Mr. Bellamy should stand on, in my opinion, this is the one. A note about anonymity. Yes, this was done anonymously, but what Mr. or Mrs. "Mysterious" must be too dumb to know is that Mr. Bellamy's lawyers, should he decide to pursue this, can ask a judge to have the IP Address of the poster released to the courts by the ISP. Now, I'm no lawyer, but that's how I see it. A successful libel case would have to prove 4 things:
1) The statement was false. Check.
2) It caused harm. Check. Mr. Bellamy's character has clearly been wrongly defamed by this false statement. I would not rule out character assassination.
3) The statement was made without an attempt to verify it's truthfulness. Check. There's no proof that it is true, so it would be impossible to prove otherwise.
4) The intent was to do harm with reckless disregard for the truth. Check. What other intent could there be?
Some might say, "Let it go." But my advice is don't. One could infer that this was done to make an example out of Mr. Bellamy, but perhaps he should use this opportunity to flip the script. Mr. Bellamy is clearly going to face negative consequences due to his actions, which he has fully accepted responsibility for, but there should not be, what could appear to, and may very well be, what could be described as a coordinated effort to needlessly add false accusations and defamatory statements on top of the humbling public humiliation he must already feel facing in light of serious charges such as these. The number one reason to sue? To expose this coward.
Restoring the honor!