Yeah, that happened. It is ridiculous, but defamation lawsuits are more common than you think. Why don't you hear about them? Because the nature of a defamation lawsuit is precisely to SHUT YOU UP! And for 4 years, it has done exactly that. I was sued personally, and MaternityWise was also sued, along with over 30 other women - for millions of dollars - EACH. It kept us quiet, but we are pretty sick of that baloney at this point.
We got sued for defamation because we told the world about someone who lied and was using the name of MaternityWise to gain the trust of vulnerable women and then take advantage of that trust. Even WE were lied to and WE were taken advantage of. Then WE got sued for standing up to this person.
What seems like a lifetime ago, this lawsuit was designed to stop MaternityWise and all those others from speaking out about the behavior of a specific individual. The lawsuit was intended to shut up the collective voice of a community of women, who were sharing concerns over lies and other behaviors that felt unsafe. We sought to warn and protect each other. And for this, we were punished by being sued for MILLIONS of dollars, each.
$165 million total, in fact.
We won't have to pay that. Not even close. But we do need help funding the travel and related expenses that the upcoming trial will cost. The jury trial phase begins October 24th, 2022.
Legal fees are excessive, but in addition to that, Anne must travel to Hawaii to be present in-person to testify and so her flight, car rental, lodging and related expenses will need to come from somewhere. If you're willing to help us out with providing for Anne during this important time, please go here to donate: (This GoFundMe does not cover the entirety of the financial burden, but even the smallest amount of support means so much!)
This is not a unique situation unfortunately. This kind of injustice happens all the time, especially to women who call out predatory behaviors. Defamation lawsuits effectively silence people who would otherwise be able to shine light on the wrong doings of those who would prefer to stay in the dark, so they can continue to benefit from unethical (even if it’s not illegal) behavior without being held accountable.
Well, it's time to open up about that. Here is a link to an article that was published early on in the history of this case, and while several things have changed, it gives you some background about the initial filing.
The case is ongoing, but here is my experience:
Also!!! Here is the Statement that MaternityWise put out about this situation back in 2018, that the court initially found NOT defamatory, and thereby dismissed MaternityWise from the original lawsuit: