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Vincent Gallo is proving to be as provocative a litigant as he is a filmmaker. The director of Buffalo ’66 and The Brown Bunny has now filed a sequel to the lawsuit that came earlier this month over allegedly surreptitious conversations with a reporter posted online.
His new legal action targets Facebook and an anonymous John Doe. According to a complaint filed in California court on Monday, someone registered an account for “Vincent Gallo,” friended many of the actor-director’s real-life acquaintances and caused a lot of trouble.
Gallo accuses the “fake” Gallo of making contact with his ex-girlfriend.
“The two had Facebook messenger conversations for a period of two months, where Doe 1 flirted, sent nude pictures from the waist down, and convinced her not only to send nude pictures back, but to travel from Europe to the United States to visit him,” states the complaint. “Once she solidified her plans to visit him, Doe 1 (the Fake Account proprietor) backed down and gave an excuse that he would be out of town during her planned visit. At this time, she sensed something was wrong and discovered, to her horror and embarrassment, that Doe 1 was in fact, not Mr. Gallo.”
The catfishing occurred elsewhere, claims Gallo.
The film director says that the “fake” Gallo reached out to other women, “and under the auspice of being Mr. Gallo has flirted with them, and then lured them to meet Doe 1 in person in Los Angeles. Mr. Gallo further alleges, upon information and belief, that Doe 1 repeatedly engages females to have conversations that are sexual in nature, while pretending to be Mr. Gallo.”
The “fake” Gallo is also accused of posting a political video regarding Israel and the Gaza Strip, posting links to YouTube performances by musicians and commenting about the music and, after checking into the Bellagio Las Vegas in February, writing, “Degenerate gamblers never learn, more dieting and less blowing your mortgage.”
Gallo says he contacted Facebook through its reporting system and attempted a takedown, and in response, got an automated response requesting proof of his identity. Gallo says he provided a scanned copy of his driver’s license, but Facebook told him it wasn’t able to verify his identity and requested he take a new photo of his ID. He says he handed over a “professionally color scanned copy” and attempted to explain the ongoing harm, but that the fake account remains active.
Gallo is suing Facebook for false designation of origin under the Lanham Act, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unfair competition and unfair business practices. He’s also suing the John Doe for violating his right of publicity as well as a California law adopted in 2011 that punishes “any person who knowingly and without consent credibly impersonates another actual person through or on an Internet Web site.”
Represented by Joseph Costa, Gallo is seeking special, consequential and general damages.
Facebook hasn’t yet responded to a request for comment.
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