A GoFundMe set up for Moira Donegan, a freelance writer who became known last year for creating the “S–ty Media Men” list, has raised more than $90,000 to pay for legal costs in a looming defamation lawsuit she is facing.
“Moira Donegan did us all a huge favor. She made our world safer, and has paid more than her share. Now she’s going to need some help,” reads a GoFundMe page set up for Donegan. “This is for her legal and security bills and anything else she’ll need.”
The page also promised that any excess funds would be donated to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
The list, a Google spreadsheet which circulated among dozens of women last winter, named dozens of men along with various allegations ranging from groping to rape. Earlier this week, one of those men — Stephen Elliott — filed a $1.5 million defamation suit against Donegan and up to 30 other “Jane Does” arguing his inclusion on the list caused “severe damage to his name and reputation.”
“The List contained false information and unsubstantiated allegations, including untrue statements alleging Plaintiff engaged in criminal sexual conduct, namely rape accusations, sexual harassment, coercion and unsolicited invitations to his apartment,” the suit reads. “The inflammatory false statements published in the List were abusive, vulgar, intentionally misleading as well as damning to the Plaintiff’s reputation and good name. The List was sent to numerous members of the parties’ shared profession, the media industry to intentionally harm Plaintiff’s reputation and further cause harm to Plaintiff’s career.”
Once anonymous, Donegan officially outed herself in January as the creator of the list in an essay for The Cut after rumors that her name was going to be published in an upcoming piece for Harper’s magazine.
“The anonymous, crowdsourced document was a first attempt at solving what has seemed like an intractable problem: how women can protect ourselves from sexual harassment and assault,” wrote Donegan in her piece.
“I had imagined a document that would assemble the collective, unspoken knowledge of sexual misconduct that was shared by the women in my circles: What I got instead was a much broader reckoning with abuses of power that spanned an industry.”
While many of the men named have never formally been accused of misconduct, many other men who appeared on the list were ultimately disciplined. Internal investigations at BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, the Paris Review and elsewhere all later resulted in terminations of employees named on the list.