Some of you steady followers may remember a show I did a while back entitled “We’re Reeling in the Catfish” in which a guest exposed a man she’d met on the Internet as being a complete and utter fraud. In case you’re wondering, “The popular website urbandictionary.com, which specializes in slang and evolving language, gives this definition: “A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.” (Southbend Tribune, online)
Every account was checked, rechecked and confirmed before I aired the show. Click here for original broadcast.
A few months later, another woman who had heard the original show, contacted me and asked if I would please air her story about that same catfish. Initially I was skeptical but after some serious fact-checking (and pictures she supplied), I believed her story and agreed to have her and the first woman back onto the show. I also invited Lette’s Chat’s official law enforcement consultant, former detective and Stalking Expert, Mike Proctor to weigh in as well. Click here for the second show.
Seemingly, everyone had moved on with their lives, but never is the case with Catfish. They get hung up, confused, angry – and they create even MORE online personalities. Enter Parker Leigh, Esq.
Lady #1 contacted me last week and shared an INBOX message on … er, FACEBOOK (lmao) from an attorney who was threatening to sue her for defamation of her “client”. Here is the inbox message. It has NOT been edited in any way or altered from the original content other than hiding the identity of my guest and her identifying information. Those edits have been clearly marked.
“My name is Parker Leigh and I am an Attorney at Law. As of today, I have been retained by Mekael Shane, the person you and your friend Carlette Ritter Norwood created a slanderous and libelous blog about, which constitutes what’s known litigiously as, “Internet Defamation.” My client having submitted a written statement to me, has proven to me by way of having shared with me, copies of the emails you and he exchanged during your “friendship.” What those emails showed me, is that you had absolutely no reason whatsoever to attack him the way you did.
Also, per the emails exchanged between you two, I have drawn the conclusion that said blog post was created as a result of your desire to try to malign and hurt my client’s name and business, again, for no apparent reason at all. You having chose to partner with Carlette Ritter Norwood, for the purpose of creating this malicious attack, was needless, reckless, disrespectful and dishonorable. He didn’t hurt you in any way. He never disrespected or debased you in any way. Actually, from what I read, he tried to inspire you to go back to college and finish school so you could get your degree. He also tried to inspire you to get back into Martial Arts, and or to pursue other goals you wished to accomplish. I read nothing in your exchanges, wherein he asked you for anything, nor did he get you to commit to anything, which leaves me to surmise that you created that blog out of nothing, but the pure and true maliciousness seeded deep in your person. As a result of you having done so, my client decided to to fight for the very thing you and your friend wished to hurt, his good name.
A little about me; I attend and graduated from Syracuse University’s College of Law. Upon graduating, I went to work for leading internet defamation law firm, Traverse Legal PC. After a few years of ligating for Traverse, I decided to come to work for the Department of Homeland Security, though I still maintain a great working relationship with Traverse Legal.
Today, I have consulted with my client, and I informed him that there is only one thing that you, Ms. ….., need to do to repair your egregious and slanderous assault of his name, and that thing is to have the two items removed. I told him that I would contact you once and only once, to request that you remove the defamatory content you and your friend created, (the Blog-Talk Radio component and the written blog, that Mrs. Norwood created about him). Why are we holding you responsible for both? Because we believe that this all started as a result of you having told Mrs. Norwood that my client had shared with you, the fact that she asked him for the ISBNs which are affiliated with his books of poetry. I read the email exchange involving him and Carlette Ritter Norwood, confirming that she did ask him if she could use his ISBNs. Too, I believe that because he shared with you, in complete confidence, that she, Carlette Ritter Norwood, had said to him without question, that she didn’t like a shared associate/friend or two of yours, she, Carlette Ritter Norwood became angry and thus, you two co-conspired to maliciously attack my client. Therefore, this is your action to clean up, Ms. …. Again, let me reiterate that the purpose of me contacting you, is to allow you one chance and one chance only, to correct your misdeed. You have 24 hours to successfully have both items removed from the web. If you choose not to correct your action, the following will occur:
(1.) A Georgia Attorney who’s also contracted with Traverse Legal, will file a civil lawsuit on behalf of my client, against you, in the Houston County Clerk’s Office, pursuant to damages for your defamatory, slanderous and libelous act against my client. Internet Defamation is a serious crime, Ms. …. and since you currently have no criminal history, and you have never been sued civilly, this will become an ugly stain on your name and it will quite possibly mar and hurt your future. Further, you will receive correspondence at your home from the Houston County Clerk’s office pertaining to said lawsuit, which may cause you to have to answer to your mother, as to why you’re in receipt of said correspondence.
(2.) Cyber investigations agency we partner with, has already contacted (your former employer) today, and learned that you are no longer an employee with that company. The agency we partner with, Cyber Investigation Services LLC, are as thorough as you can get in that industry. Since you are neither employed, nor own any collateral or property, we will be pursuant to staking an imminent claim on any future property and or holdings, and, you need to be aware that this will also include the possibility of and for the garnishing of any future wages you may earn.
(3.) Upon the moment the lawsuit is filed, the above stated cyber investigations agency to conduct and gather character assessment information from your past employer(s), fellow church members at (church name omitted) beginning with (pastor name omitted), past educators you had at H…. High School, and quite possibly, members of your family, to include your mother, M… M…. I have already contacted (former employer) and ascertained that you are no longer employed with that company. Know that once the lawsuit is filed, it becomes public record. What does this mean for you, Ms. ….? It means that whenever a potential employer’s Human Resources department Google’s you, they’ll see that there has been a civil lawsuit filed against you, and it, along with all the pertinent information regarding this incident, will be made known, as a result of having shown up in all search engine results, and that could be quite damaging to you, because as of now, there are only three things that shows up when your name is Googled, your ( Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace) accounts. It behooves you to do what’s right and have the defamatory and slanderous blog content you created, removed, Ms. …..
(4.) A request will be submitted to both Google and Blog-Talk Radio, letting them know that you are being sued for having created content of a malicious, slanderous and libelous nature, that is still active in cyberspace. You should know that Google, will also request a copy of the lawsuit for their records, again, confirming your name and this incident’s public record.
Let me reiterate, Ms. …., that you have until the close of business tomorrow to comply with our recommendation. Know, that if I you decide not to reply to this message, I will take that as you having decided against my recommendation, and we will proceed with filing the lawsuit this week. Should you listen to wisdom and choose to comply with my recommendation, the only future communication shared between us, is you replying to this message letting me know that you’ve successfully had both derogatory items removed.
Again, I will Google my client’s name tomorrow evening, and if those items are still present, we will proceed with this filing.
When my guest attempted a “friend request” within the aforementioned 24 hours, she was promptly blocked. When we visited Parker Leigh’s Facebook page, none of the pictures posted on that site came up anywhere else that we could find. There is no such law firm in Washington, D.C. – I was going to show up there personally to interview Ms. Leigh herself to GET THEIR SIDE OF THE STORY – and also, there is no lawyer named Parker Leigh anywhere that we could find. Where is the certified mail? The law firm letterhead? Why so many typos? Why did she threaten to tell the client’s mother and pastor?
This blog serves to show the Catfish is still active and operating under countless other aliases. It also serves as further proof and tracking. We are only stating facts folks! Just the facts! They apparently didn’t teach Ms. Leigh that in law school. Obviously she doesn’t watch Judge Judy either.
Ms. Leigh has recently posted a comment on the original show page to which I have replied:
Dear *ahem* “Ms. Leigh”, I should inform you that all parties involved (legally) are in receipt of the inbox message you sent to one of the ladies on my program. Let me also inform you that we are well aware of 1. not only do YOU not exist but neither does the law firm you claim to work for in Washington, D.C. Threatening to tell someone’s mama and pastor about their behavior on a talk show does NOT constitute legal action therefore, once again, you are put on blast and are being publicly advised to stop harassing my guests. Every time you rear your ugly head, I will continue to assault you in the media by any means necessary.
Yeah…that about sums it up. Please tweet, repost, ping and do any and all things possible to keep exposing the catfish.