Death won’t stop multiple Emmy Award winning actor James Woods, 69, from pursuing a defamation suit against the family of the now-deceased man who accused him of cocaine addiction.
Woods filed the $10 million suit in July 2015 after a man identified only as “Abe List” tweeted the accusation. In February 2016, the court ruled that the tweet was not a “constitutionally protected political insult,” according to The Hollywood Reporter (THR). An appeal was short-circuited when “Abe List” died.
In response to social media criticism about continuing the suit after his accuser’s death, Woods responded via Twitter.
“Learn this. Libel me, I’ll sue you. If you die, I’ll follow you to the bowels of Hell. Get it?”
The tweet was deleted but a screenshot of it was presented to the court, according to THR.
I am so humbled and proud, passing the half million mark of followers with whom I enjoy tweeting every day. Thank you, thank you, thank you. pic.twitter.com/P8rYGLGe5y
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) January 3, 2017
Woods’ attorney Michael Weinsten wrote in a reply brief, “if Woods responded to AL’s harassment by using strong language, such conduct was purely defensive and justified by AL’s defamation.”
On Tuesday (1/3) a Los Angeles Superior Court judge pushed aside allegations that the lawsuit harasses the dead man’s family and told the defendant’s attorney that the true identity of Abe List must be revealed, reported THR. Abe List had falsely identified himself on social media as a Harvard University-educated partner at a Los Angeles based private equity firm, according to THR.
“This is a significant step forward in our ability to recover the millions in damages caused by John Doe’s cowardly Tweet,” Weinsten told THR. “It also sends a message to others who believe they can hide behind the anonymity of online social media to falsely accuse public figures of heinous behavior without recourse to themselves.”
Woods is a multiple Emmy Award winning and Academy Award nominated actor and producer whose recent work includes the 2011 TV movie Too Big To Fail and the 2014 film Jamesy Boy.
[Feature Photo: AP/Chris Pizzello]