19 September 2010

Lawsuit Update

Despite having dropped her lawsuit against Eurodressage's Astrid Appels, superstar Anky van Grunsven appears to have set off a whirlwind of legal activity throughout the FEI Nation. We'll try to provide a complete roundup.

First out of the gate, Astrid Appels has sued KroketjeMet, the maker of the popular Larry King video, feeling defamated* by her depiction as Sarah Palin and demanding removal of the clip from YouTube. Like any Continental worthy of an EU passport, Dr. Appels is apparently not a fan of the Wacky Alasky. But it's not "censorship," because that would be hypocritical. You betcha.

Sarah Palin likewise has filed suit against KroketjeMet as well, feeling defamated by her depiction as Astrid Appels. "I don't like this kinda 'gotcha journalism,'" Ms. Palin stated. "It's kinda like that Katie Couric character asking me all those tough questions on TV about what magazines I read up here in Alaska and stuff like that. Gotcha, you betcha! Plus where the hell is Belgium, anyway? I can't even see that from my house! 'He' may have a lot of beer, but we've got Budweiser, and that's the only beer that matters."

KroketjeMet in response has sued xtranormal.com for not providing enough flexibility in character choices. The FEI Nation has collectively joined that suit making it now a class action.

Upon learning that Budweiser and indeed all of Anheuser-Busch had been bought up by Belgian brewing giant InBev, Ms. Palin decided to also sue Belgium, as soon as she finds it on a map.

In another interesting development, Ms. van Grunsven has sued her own husband Sjef Janssen, ironically for exercising his right to "free speech" by allegedly calling Dr. Appels "een superbitch" and "die Duitse journalisten maffia," helping Dr. Appels to rally the masses against them and ruining a quiet, everyday lawsuit. The great irony of it all being that as private speech, Mr. Janssen's actions (as reported) were easily far more protected by law than what a journalist might get up to in editorializing news reports, and since unpublished could never be "slanderous" (sic), as claimed by Dr. Appels. Or even libelous. Not to mention his actions were legally irrelevant since he was not even a party to the suit, that last basic fact conspicuously lost on Eurodressage's cohort, Dressagedaily.com.

Mr. Janssen has not yet decided on who to sue in response, but he's probably working on it. Maybe the entire Internet. Or its inventor, Al Gore. Or the FEI, because when in doubt, it's best just to blame them. Lawsuit bingo!

Subsequently Astrid Appels has sued Astrid Appels, having apparently defamated herself by publishing Mr. Janssen's private and thus previously non-"slanderous" remarks. We hope she hires less amateurish attorneys this time around as those guys were clearly hacks from the start. (likely one reason why this thing had to be moved to the court of public opinion.)

The FEI then sued Anky van Grunsven for starting this whole rollkur circus up again just when they thought they had gotten away with it all. They do not, however, feel defamated, because. . .well, they're used to it.

Another dressage superstar, Moorlands Totilas, has cemented his status by suing the publisher of Klubequus.org. Mr. Totilas feels defamated by his depiction as a "gaited warmblood" and insists no photos of him may be used in relation to odd varieties of horses bred, trained and sometimes abused to do weird things with their legs.

Respected actor and sometime homeless rap artist Joaquin Phoenix has also sued Astrid Appels, surprisingly feeling defamated by a recent tweet in which she likened him to someone living in a cardboard box. Mr. Phoenix tweeted in response, "@eurodressage, u rly r a superbitch."

And finally in other Hollywood news, Prince has sued The Carrot, feeling defamated by our usage of The Symbol Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince in relation to The Training Method Formerly Known As Rollkur. Prince insists he does not condone rollkur by any definition and has never done rollkur by any definition with any horse, ever. Stated The Artist's attorney, "Despite his image, even Prince is not that kinky."

And that's our lawsuit roundup for the week ending September 19.

*yes we know defamated is not really a word, but since it entered the vernacular via a real live journalist/blogger, we think it's an improvement on the original