The Volokh Conspiracy

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Free Speech

#TheyLied Libel Lawsuit by Toronto Raptors Lead Assistant Coach Adrian Griffin Against Ex-Wife


An interesting example of the recent spate of such lawsuits, just filed today, in Griffin v. Sterling (S.D.N.Y.). The heart of the claim:

2. Plaintiff Adrian Griffin brings this libel action as the victim of a vicious campaign of lies by the Defendant, his ex-wife, Audrey R. Sterling. The subject attack was launched by a Tweet on August 13, 2020, in which Defendant falsely accused Plaintiff of failure to pay child support and vivid accusations of horrifying physical abuse by Plaintiff. These were all lies, completely fabricated to take advantage of the current online climate where a woman's unsupported accusation would be inherently believed, no matter how false or far-fetched. In today's lost cancel culture, where angry mobs patrol the bowels of social media ready to pounce, an accusation, with or without evidence, is the equivalent of a conviction. Sterling knew her accusations to be false. She made them anyway, and persisted in making them, until her thirst for blood was quenched.

3. Defendant's primary purpose soon revealed itself, however. As her former NBA player husband, now a highly regarded lead assistant coach, developed into an exceptional candidate for multiple head coaching positions in the NBA in recent years, Sterling wanted her piece of the pie. She would use whatever she could get away with to get it. Either that or she would destroy him, knowing no one would challenge her lies about an athlete's alleged abuses.

As always, I can't speak to who's telling the truth here.