July 01, 2013 2:32pm PT by Austin Siegemund-Broka
'Storage Wars' Star Brandi Passante Wins 'Stalker Porn' Lawsuit
Storage Wars star Brandi Passante has received damages after suing porn distributor Hunter Moore. The sum? A mere $750.
Passante sued last fall when Moore posted a nude video on his website, IsAnyoneUp.com, claiming the woman featured was Passante.
In the lawsuit, $2.5 million was demanded, but a federal judge says that amount can't be justified. However, Moore will likely have to pick up Passante's legal bill.
Moore and IsAnyoneUp became known for “revenge porn” or “stalker porn,” in which pornographic images and videos, usually submitted without the subjects’ permission, are posted alongside subjects’ Facebook pictures. Moore received a cease and desist order from Facebook in 2011 and shut down the site in April 2012.
He then took IsAnyoneUp to Tumblr and Twitter. In October, he posted a video on Tumblr captioned “brandie [sic] from storage wars.”
Passante learned of the video via Twitter, where she received messages such as “Can’t wait to see more of the video,” and “Love the pics.”
The video was “fabricated,” Passante claimed. Fearing her family would see it, the reality TV star said she suffered anxiety, lost sleep and physical illness. She sued for Lanham Act violations, defamation, invasion of privacy, consumer fraud and more, and filed a motion for a default judgment when Moore didn't put up much of a defense.
In a ruling earlier this month, U.S. District Judge James Selna notes that in a default motion, the factual allegations in the complaint are taken as true, with the exception of those regarding damages.
Judge Seina finds Moore liable, but adds that Passante has not provided enough evidentiary support to justify $2.5 million in claimed damages.
Passante did get the judge to prohibit Moore from distributing the video or pictures after weighing the reputational damage she will face. And the defendant's behavior will mean he'll be paying Passante's lawyers.
As the judge says, "Defendant’s conduct prior to and following the entry of the preliminary injunction renders this
case exceptional. He discontinued his scofflaw ways only after the Court issued a bench warrant to compel his compliance with the preliminary injunction. The Court agrees that Plaintiff is entitled to reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs under the Lanham Act based on Defendant’s trademark infringement."
Moore, in response to the decision, tweeted, “what should I write on the check in the memo line for that bitch who sued me.”