A Vogue cover girl has won a precedent-setting court battle to unmask an anonymous blogger who called her a “skank” on the internet.
In a case with potentially far-reaching repercussions, Liskula Cohen sought the identity of the blogger who maligned her on the Skanks in NYC blog so that she could sue him or her for defamation.
A Manhattan supreme court judge ruled that she was entitled to the information and ordered Google, which ran the offending blog, to turn it over.
Ms Cohen, a tall, Canadian blonde who has modelled for Giorgio Armani and Versace, went to court after reading the wounding anonymous comments on Google’s Blogger.com.
“I would have to say the first-place award for ‘Skankiest in NYC’ would have to go to Liskula Gentile Cohen,” the blogger “Anonymous” wrote in one posting. The blog, since removed, ridiculed the former Australian Vogue covergirl as a “40-something” who “may have been hot 10 years ago”, when she was actually 36.
Justice Joan Madden rejected the blogger’s claim that the blogs “serve as a modern-day forum for conveying personal opinions, including invective and ranting”, and should not be treated as factual assertions.
The model was looking forward last night to discovering the identity of the alleged acquaintance who insulted her. “Everybody is waiting to see who this coward is,” Steven Wagner, her lawyer, said.
Andrew Pederson, a Google spokesman, said: “We sympathise with anyone who may be the victim of cyberbullying. We also take great care to respect privacy concerns and will only provide information about a user in response to a subpoena or other court order.”