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Councilor Mejia sues Worcester-area blogger for libel

Mejia

City Councilor Julia Mejia says Turtleboy owner Aiden Kearney keeps libeling her and she's had enough.

In a defamation lawsuit filed yesterday in Suffolk Superior Court, Mejia says a 2021 Turtleboy post claiming she started livestreaming rather than calling 911 when somebody was being murdered outside her Dorchester home and 2022 social-media posts alleging she's a possible drug user who threw her weight around BPD headquarters to avoid getting charged with OUI are "false, libelous and defamatory, per se."

The posts, her suit alleges:

Were defamatory, per se, because they impute dishonesty, immorality, vice, violations of criminal law and dishonorable conduct to Mejia and injured Plaintiff in her personal and professional career. The Defendant knew or should have known that the statements about Plaintiff were false and recklessly published the information unnecessarily, unreasonably, and excessively with disregard to falsity. ...

All the above-described statements were false, malicious and were published with a knowing, intentional, subjective awareness of, and/or reckless disregard of, their falsity.

As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant's defamatory and libelous statements, the Plaintiff suffered injury, and has been held up to scorn, ridicule and abuse. ...

Defendant's conduct was extreme, outrageous, beyond all possible bounds of decency, and utterly intolerable in a civilized society.

Mejia is seeking a jury trial at which she can seek a ruling declaring that Kearney defamed her and order him to not do so again - and to award her financial damages.

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Comments

The discovery phase on this is going to be incredible.

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Throw another lawsuit on the pile. What with a divorce coming up and his being sued all the time, I see Kearney working at a 7-11 in Shrewsbury soon enough.

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64

I understand one would want to defend their good name and all that….but I think she is making a big mistake and should just leave this alone. The story already ran its course and was in the rearview. This guy lives for this stuff.

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for a case involving libel of a public figure. I hope she has an airtight case, because she will need it. (I'd love to see Turtleboy knocked down a few pegs.)

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76

The question is if she'll be considered a public figure or not. That's obvious for Wu, Warren, etc. But a fairly new Boston city councilor seems borderline.

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11

An elected at-large city councillor is per se a "public official."

The original Sullivan was one of three city commissioners in Montgomery AL

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100

I feel like anyone who winds up on a ballot for a publicly elected role becomes a public figure. Otherwise that line gets REALLY hard to draw.

Now, being clear, this guy seems like a shit weasel who deserve it, and as other mentioned this will be an interesting discovery, but there are other sources making similar statements, and I am not sure this isn't a SLAPP suit.

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He is very skilled at implying something without actually saying it. And even when he actually says it, he includes caveats such as, "some allege," and then throws in a disclaimer that he hasn't yet been able to corroborate, etc. I have a feeling this is going to backfire on Mejia.

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Big time backfire on her.

Say what you will about him but he is extremely thorough and goes deep into rabbit holes. He is also the type of person(s) we as a society need. He calls BS on anyone at anytime. Most of his “deep dives” on elected officials would never be mentioned by mainstream media and as voters don’t we have a right to know if some of them are acting like scumbags?

Everyone heard the JM “rumor”. He was the only one to mention it.

Everyone heard the KL issues, and he brought them out of the darkness.

And others.

I hate that I am defending him here because he is a bit much but honest answer time…. What’s worse- the person making the BS or the person calling it out?

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He posted a personal video of hers. Meanwhile this idiot here thinks Kearney is actually a journalist instead of a bottom feeding scumbag.

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Holy smokes Kendra Lara…

Who thinks it’s okay to talk about anal sex or any kind of sex in front of your 7 year old?

I guess Kendra Lara does, as well as BPS teacher Owen Thomas.

How did she let him record this? She is literally half naked and talking about what they just did while she is right next to her son. Seriously poor judgement on her part. It will also be poor judgement by BPS when they don’t fire one of their teachers for making boastful videos about how he just “f*cked Kendra Lara in the a**.” He teaches at a school with very marginalized students and should be fired for making this recording.

Say what you will about turtle boy, but the guy has exposed all kinds of sketchy people. He was one of the first to report the truth about Monica Cannon-Grant. Rachel Rollins apparently gave him tips where Cannon-Grant would be campaigning for Kennedy because she was supporting Markey.

https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2022/10/11/monica-cannon-grant-profile/

Regarding Julia Mejia, I would not be surprised if the police let a city councilor get away with operating under the influence or if a city councilor wielded their power to get out of an arrest.

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The idea that Rollins called him and gave him a tip makes it all suspect. He has trolled Cannon since the white penis rant. Surfing social media is not investigating. He is failed history teacher that was fired for sexual harassing a 14 year old girl at a Bills Patriots game.

The lady is a racist fraud. He exposed her for what she is and it’s entirely in the realm of possibility that he was getting tips from Rollins because she was supporting Markey while Grant was supporting and campaigning for Kennedy.

He surfed social and reposted it. Is really possible that Rollins calls this creep? Cmon sheeple

He found the racist diatribe she posted and reposted it for all to see. No local news outlet did this and it was an important thing for people to know the truth about Cannon-Grant. She is a fraud, who then actually got busted for fraud.

Someone on Rollins staff easily could’ve contacted him via phone or email. These things happen all the time when those in politics want an article to “drop” that works for their benefit and they have a willing participant in the media.

He found it because many people reposted it. Surfing social is not journalism. I am sure that Rollins communicates with actual journalists but not a troll that keeps trolling her.

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I never heard the JM rumor. Hell, I voted for her IIRC.

He is very skilled at implying something without actually saying it.

I'm guessing he learned that from Fox - that's Tucker's style.

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The language in his articles about her descriptions of her behavior. No opinion or "allegations". He surfs tiktok and calls it journalism. He only goes on the street to do "gotcha" videos. And generally just gets a picture of the target's house, that he publishes to intimidate them.

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The decision in NYT vs Sullivan doesn’t say that a public figure can’t be defamed, only that the plaintiff must show actual malice on the part of the defendant; that is, it is not enough to show that the defamatory statements were false, it must be shown that the defendant knew they were false, or showed a reckless disregard for the truth. It sounds to me like the evidence of actual malice is pretty strong in this case. Of course, if it makes it to the Supreme Court, it may run into some actual malice there as well.

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I got unfriended by the wife of an acquaintance after I called her out for posting Turtleboy articles instead of real news during the pandemic.

"I can't go to work as a bartender, but these junkies are getting help?"

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Commuting from Worcester to Boston for trial dates, etc is not worth it...

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An elected official who does not want to be criticized for their corruption by the media? How about vote yourself (another) pay raise.

First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

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That's pretty well-established law by now.

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To be clear, the US has a higher bar to clear than in, say, the United Kingdom. Mejia will have to prove that the statements given are clearly false and served to defame her.

Conversely, what this lawsuit may just do is to bring up items that she may not want to have brought up. Her livestreaming of the crime scene is a fact, so she probably shouldn't be bringing that up as libel. The DUI and accusations of drug use, on the other hand, could end up being messy. The drug use definitely seems like accusations, but if push ultimately came to shove and turtleboy is in a bind, if it happened there's a cop that could be deposed on the incident, which could only hurt Mejia both in court and reputationally.

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Wouldn't it be nice to see other city-related stories from this cesspool debunked in court.

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bleeding them to death with lawsuits. Win or lose, causing them to spend money on counsel is money they aren’t using to be jackoffs.

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MA doesn't have the most stringent anti-SLAPP statutes, but you are almost certainly going to get shot down quick if you try to go this route. The farther we get from using the legal process itself as a penalty, the closer we can get to actual justice.

You can, however, keep using your personal rights to talk smack about how awful Turtleboy is to everyone you know, while blocking them on all your socials. I haven't had to think about Turtleboy or Barstool in years and it's really quite nice.

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It says “signed by his attorney” then signed by the lawyer.

Maybe the OUI has legs, but hard to see the 911 call sticking.

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Magoo ‘members a time when mean meanies like turtle boy were tar and feathered. This was back in colonial times. Magoo ‘members this because Magoo is alleged to be an immortal vampire. But not a mean meanie vampire the sucks the blood of human sapience. Magoo is alleged to be a nicey nice vampire that sucks the blood of small various and a sundry mammals like micey mice. Magoo.

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Your schtick is worn out buddy.

It's like going to see Steve Sweeney anytime over the past 35 years, same old worn out Boston accent schtick, same old worn out jokes about Asians and women. Put it to bed.

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Aidan is a one trick pony. He OCD's whatever he happens to hate for that moment. He isn't careful. He posts things as true that aren't. He gets personal. He posts people's addresses, pictures & where they work. Like every broken clock he's occasionally correct in his assumptions but more often than not he's going for shock value & ad dollars.

He's not a journalist. He's just another self important blogger. He had his own skeletons which are very public. Now he'll have to prove what he wrote was true or pay up. It's called repercussions. It's what no one is free from. His turn.

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Did she make a 911 call before live streaming? Or not? Seems like a super simple thing to prove since both are time stamped.

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Even if she did call 911, the rest of his details are correct. She would have to prove that he knew that she called 911 and knowingly lied about it. So if the sources on scene assumed she had not called and told him “she did not call 911 and instead started live-streaming”, he’d be in the clear. At worst he got one detail wrong. The fact that she live streamed is not in dispute and is the greater offense.

Now if the logs show that she did not call 911, then her lawsuit would be a mess.

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This is not going to go or end the way Julia is expecting.

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Boston will turn into San Francisco with councilors like this running the city.

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Or London with its 100 homicides per year.

Which would be a big improvement over Boston's murder rate, try and get a 12-year-old to explain the concept of "per capita" to you maybe.