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Women sued for defamation after sharing alleged dating misconduct on social media

Women sued for defamation after comments on a Facebook dating group
Women sued for defamation after comments on a Facebook dating group 05:06

A group of local women may have to defend themselves in court after they took to social media to warm other women about a potential suitor.

Stewart Lucas Murrey is suing 12 women for defamation, sex-based discrimination and invasion of privacy, after they posted about him in the "Are we dating the same guy?" group on Facebook.


In 2021, Olivia Berger went on a date with Murrey after connecting with him online. She says she didn't give the encounter much thought until stumbling upon a post in the Facebook group which included photos of Murrey, asking members to share any encounters they may have had with him. 

Berger recounted her unique and unpleasant experience in her response.  

"I want to emphasize that I had never had a date like this. Ever," Berger said.

Prior to Berger's interaction with Murrey, Vanessa Valdes who had come across him on a dating application, also contributed to the discussion. She expressed concern over Murrey's continued presence on dating platforms after experiencing what she described as harassment.

In her post, Valdes shared disturbing messages Murrey sent to her, calling her a "moron" and writing "it's fun watching you burn."

She responded saying that he should "stay away from women and get help" before reporting him to the dating app.

Can you be sued for comments made on social media?

Defamation attorney Jeff Lewis said anyone can sue another person for what is said online, but it doesn't mean they will win.

"The best way to avoid being sued for what you say on the internet is to say things that are true, or that are opinion- but if you step outside truth or opinion there's a good chance you may get sued if it's something negative," Lewis said.

Murrey's lawsuit contests the women's narratives, citing claims he deems defamatory, such as allegations of involvement in his ex-wife's murder and having sexually transmitted diseases, which Berger and Valdes deny making or seeing.


Lewis believes the case will make it to court, saying it will go before a jury if it does not settle. 

Berger and Valdes say that, without representation or a lot of expendable income, they worry this could bankrupt them.

In a statement to KCAL News, Murrey said that he has never met or dated some of the women posting about him and accuses them of "catfishing him", saying they posted highly filtered and enhanced photos on their dating profiles, concluding "perhaps these women are not successful in dating for obvious reasons."

In January, a similar lawsuit was filed in Chicago by a man who was also the subject of a post in the same Facebook group. The group's moderator has created a fundraiser to help victims being sued. The women here in LA say she has not offered to help them.

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