Looks like James Woods is learning that Twitter-generated lawsuits can cut both ways.
Woods, who famously sued an anonymous Twitter troll who called the actor a cocaine addict, has now been sued over a tweet of his own.
In her lawsuit, Portia A. Boulger — described as a 64-year-old Ohio resident and “an activist for progressive causes and for the Democratic Party” — says that Woods misidentified her as a woman who wore a Trump shirt T-shirt and gave a Nazi salute during a March 2016 Trump rally in Chicago.
According to the complaint, Woods posted a tweet “with a picture of and caption relating to Ms. Boulger, identifying her as a leader of ‘women for Bernie’ and Ohio grassroots organizer.” The lawsuit says that Woods’ tweet read, ‘So-called #Trump ‘Nazi’ is a #BernieSanders agitator/operative.”
While the Twitter user who originally misidentified Boulger, as well as the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times, identified the woman giving the Nazi salute as someone else — the Tribune said it was “a Trump supporter from Illinois” — Woods left his tweet up, the suit contends.
“Mr. Woods did not remove his tweet identifying Ms. Boulger as the woman who made the Nazi salute. Mr. Woods’ tweet was retweeted more than 5,000 times, his account has more than 350,000 followers,” the lawsuit reads.
After Boulger’s lawyer reached out to Woods’ lawyer demanding that the actor delete the tweet and issue an apology, the suit says, Woods published a clarification that was “false, insulting and demeaning.” It was also too little, too late, the suit contends.
“During the period from March 12, 2016 through March 23, 2016, while Mr. Woods’ tweet remained posted on his Twitter account, Ms. Boulger received hundreds of obscene and threatening messages, including death threats,” the complaint reads. Boulger also says she began receiving phone calls at her home.
Woods’ attorney, Michael E. Weinsten of Lavely & Singer, called the lawsuit “patently bogus” in a statement provided to TheWrap.
“My client is no doubt surprised by this patently bogus lawsuit,” Weinsten said. “In response to a rumor circulating on the internet about Ms. Boulgar’s alleged affiliation with a Trump rally, Mr. Woods tweeted a question seeking clarification. On its face, that is not defamation. In fact, Mr. Woods went out of his way to defend Ms. Boulgar against alleged harassment. This case proves the adage ‘no good deed goes unpunished.’ ”
Alleging defamation and false light invasion of privacy, Boulger is seeking compensatory damages “in excess of $1 million” and punitive damages “in excess of $2 million.”