I thought Sunday was going to be a stress-free day. After four weeks of basically going non-stop, Sunday was going to be the first day in which I finally had nothing planned. The day was going to be spent at the KSR Compound, watching games with the Turkey Hunter, making fun of television announcers and devising jokes to write about Mark Coury. Then came the email. In one moment, the day of rest became the day of legal absurdity, all because of the bizarreness that is KSR. I opened an email entitled: URGENT: Immediate Response Needed! When I realized it was not from a Nigerian king, but rather from a lawyer in Los Angeles (for his sake of anonymity, we will just name him “Michael”), I knew I was in for a grand afternoon. The email contained a letter that said this:
Dear Mr. Jones,
We are attorneys for Samantha Ryan. We have been alerted to the following article (enclosed) currently posted on your website
Top 5 reasons being a UK fan is better than being Samantha Ryan
(1.) We are content with the fact that most of our guys could be “one and done.” Samantha Ryan can’t stomach the thought
(2.) Kentucky can take six highly touted recruits, combine them with seven hungry players, and make the best team in the nation. Samantha Ryan can take 13 guys, at once, and make her father disappointed.
(3.) A great day to UK fans includes bourbon and horses. A great day to Samantha Ryan includes bourbon and… well… horses.
(4.) UK fans erupt after watching the Wildcats’ good penetration, going back door, and slamming it in. On second thought, Samantha does, too.
(5.) Earlier this season, Ben Roethlisberger came in Rupp Arena…Hmmm we’re not so different after all.
Are you sure you’re not a Kentucky fan, Samantha?
The above statements are false and defamatory. We have also been informed of similar defamatory statements and statements that portray our client in a false light made on the air. These statements constitute actionable defamation and false light. Further, there is an unauthorized photograph of our client on the site.
We hereby demand that you immediately remove the article from your website. We also demand that in its place, you post a correction stating that the statements made were untrue. We also demand that you correct on air the fact that the statements made about our client on your broadcast were untrue.
Please provide proof of correction to us immediately. If we do not hear from you, we will seek an injunction and damages.
There goes my peaceful Sunday afternoon. When I first read the email, I must admit that I assumed it had to be a prank. Because the KSR legal staff (right now me…but feel free to apply) has been working extra hours recently dealing with whiny complaints from entities near and far, my assumption was that one of my friends had tried to think of the most ridiculous lawsuit possible and then sent the letter. “Hey I got it…what would be the most bizarre thing we could do Hubby? I got it, lets act like we are lawyers and say that KSR defamed a star…Matt will love it.” But then I inspected the email, looked online, and sure enough….Michael and the letter were real.
Now one could quickly ask two question. First, who in their right mind would think that Drew’s article was serious? Samantha Ryan had written an article entitled “Top 5 Reasons Being a KU Fan is Better Than Being a Kentucky Fan.” , and Drew responded with what is so obviously a PARODY that no one in their right mind could think it was true. Look at that list again…really Michael? You guys think THAT was supposed to be fact based? And then step 2, does anyone really believe that even if that list were true and not a parody, that it would be possible to defame her with it? One quick internet search provided by the Turkey Hunter showcased a slew of “movies” Ryan had been in with titles that were more risque than anything ever even fathomed to be put on KSR. And Drew’s blog post ruined her reputation? Child please!
So I decided, it was time to call Michael and try to work this out. What followed was a 30 minute phone conversation so surreal that I am not even sure it really took place. Michael went one by one through Drew’s list of five and said why each of them were (a) not true and (b) needed to be removed. Good taste prevents me from recounting that conversation in detail, but lets just say that the Turkey Hunter was in the background and I am not sure I have ever seen him laughing harder at anything. At one point Michael even said, “you also suggest she drinks bourbon…she does not drink bourbon!” I responded, “you are telling me that a famous star believes she was defamed because we said she drinks bourbon???? You cannot be serious!” Michael said he indeed was and that he was taking this matter very seriously. I suggested to him that it couldnt be all that seriously since he was alleging we said things “on the air”, when we dont even have a show in which to say something on the air and he then responded, “well it may have been on Twitter or something like that.” Yeah maybe.
So I then asked Michael what he wanted. He demanded a retraction and the post be removed. I then went into full “lawdog” mode and said this: “Look, the post is off the front page now, and no one will ever see it again. BUT if you want it removed, I will. However when I do it, I will post a NEW post about this story and it will only make things worse by bringing it up again. Your client really can’t want that, can she.” I was assured that yes, that was what Samantha wanted. I then asked well, what if I dont do it. He said that he would then look to all legal remedies, including a potential case against KSR and Drew Franklin individually. I then lost is for a second and said this:
“This is beyond ridiculous and seriously must be a dream. You mean to tell me that you are going to sue us for a silly blog post that is clearly in jest when your client is a STAR! And sue us for what? What could possibly be her damages? She doesfor a living and you think somehow we have somehow sullied her reputation? Are you serious? And sue Drew individually? Do you understand that Drew does not currently have a job and wears velcro shoes? What exactly are you suing him for, his hair gel?”
Michael however would not budge and demanded a correction. Even though we did nothing wrong and Drew (god love him) did not defame anyone, I agreed to give one. But as I promised him, the retraction would be done KSR-style. So here we go. If anyone out there believed that Drew was serious and that Samantha Ryan did not like “one and dones”, knows Ben Roethlisberger, drinks bourbon or did any of the other things Drew jokingly suggested, then let me say, KSR was parodying the situation and was not saying it has any knowledge of any of it being truthful. Further, if any of you thought that was true, seriously get out of the house and try to understand what is parody and what is not. To whatever extent anyone could have even fathomed that Drew was doing anything but writing his normal, insulting nonsense, KSR apologizes. We know nothing about Samantha Ryan beyond her movie career titles and wish her nothing but the best. KSR would never sully the reputation of anyone intentionally and certainly not someone like Samantha. Drew, along with the fans of Northern Iowa, would like us all to move past this.