Hi all! Today I’m writing to update on the Eron Gjoni lawsuit situation; wherein our narcissistic, jilted subject faces the grave injustice of being legally forced not to discuss Zoe Quinn; an injunction which he seems physically incapable of following.
When we last left Creep Throat, he was none too pleased with the article I wrote two days ago doubting the reality of his pending litigation. He made a few statements (which made little sense to anyone, even his fans) then promised me a better explanation in a few hours. For the sake of charity I gave him the rest of the day, then looked over what news I could find this morning.
A few hours after my conversation with Gjoni on Twitter, some #GamerGate dude on Reddit posted this account of a hearing in the matter of Eron vs. His Ex and the Fempire. TW, because this is Reddit; and the comments to his post especially prove (to me at least) why a protection order seems like a smart idea for Quinn. But here’s what this anonymous witness says went down in the court:
(I am aware that some people want to keep ZQ issues separate from gamergate, but given that this community very generously crowdfunded Eron’s legal defense, I wanted to make sure that those who are interested know what’s going on.)
ZQ filed and was granted an ex parte 209a order against Eron in mid September and on Tuesday it was extended for a year. Note that this is a physical abuse prevention order. It is meant to protect victims of physical abuse, not victims of internet harassment (you want a 258e for that). (Issues relevant to 209a orders that were in the affidavit but not brought up at the hearing are addressed in the footer of this post.*)
The reason you haven’t heard anything about the case is that the order contains a written in PRIOR RESTRAINT ON FREE SPEECH, which is absolutely absurd (ZQ reported his participation in this KoP stream to the police as a violation of the ex-parte order, so now he also has to have a hearing for that). I however, have no such restraint, and thus it is entirely within my rights to discuss public court hearings and public court documents. And should any overly litigious public figures with questionable ethical principles think about changing that, I’d recommend they take a look at Nilan v. Valenti first.
My memory is mediocre, so take my version of events with a grain of salt.
So Eron’s not being charged with a crime or civil infraction, I guess (I’m not a lawyer); but he is fighting a restraining order Quinn filed against him. Note that he would not need legal funds if he didn’t want to protest/appeal the restraining order. If he didn’t care to dispute it, he wouldn’t even have to come to court.
Apparently, It’s so *important* for Gjoni to be able to discuss his ex online, he’s willing to appear in court to defend his right to do so. It also sounds like he’s willing to violate the restraining order by talking about her to #gamergaters. Doing this forces Quinn to monitor Gjoni’s behavior and report infractions to the court, although it’s apparent she wants no contact with him (hence the restraining order.)
And to the #gamergaters eating this shit up, it’s Eron whose the victim here, even though speaking and writing at length about his ex has always been a free choice for him. His right to talk about Quinn’s life, work history, etc. apparently trumps Quinn’s right to be safe from the harassment and intimidation of an angry mob. At least, that’s what these guys think is true.
More from Eron’s anonymous bestie (note that he’s paraphrasing):
Eron posted personal information about me online. As a result, people online have threatened me with physical harm. Eron continues to engage with the mob that is harassing me with no regard to my personal safety. Specifically, Eron threatened to release more information on his gofundme page.
I will speak on my client’s behalf, and then acquiesce to my client. Zoe Quinn is a public figure and criticism of public figures is protected free speech (with the specific example of criticism of her interaction with TFYC). ZQ was already receiving harassment before Eron’s blog post. Eron has never threatened ZQ with violence and has never encouraged anyone to threaten ZQ with violence. Thezoepost was a story about Eron’s life experiences and did not even include ZQ’s real name.
[Did not get to speak at all because the judge cut his attorney off to ask more questions of the plaintiff]
The judge didn’t really say much and started writing half way through the arguments.
*He did not allow Eron’s attorney to cross examine the plaintiff
*He did not allow admission of Eron’s evidence
*He refused the Attorney’s first amendment objection to the gag clause
*He mentioned nothing about his reasoning besides a vague reference to ‘intimidation’.
Order extended until x/x/2015
There’s some issues with this “defense”. Let me go through them.
First of all: thezoepost mentions Zoe Quinn by her full name six times in the text; and many more times in the screenshots from her Facebook. So for Eron’s lawyer to state court that it doesn’t is a huge lie.
Second of all: There are also photos of Quinn in thezoepost and screencaps of her facebook page; this is not some anonymous dude venting about a disappointing life experience. This is a clear effort to trash Quinn’s reputation and ruin her personal, professional and romantic life. I know that because Eron fucking states so in the TL;DR at the top of the novella-length post. (“This exists to warn you to be cautious of Zoe.”)
Thirdly: being harassed before Eron wrote thezoepost serves to show why he did it. Gjoni knew there was an audience of men who disliked Quinn, and thought he could mobilize them to get the revenge he wants, but didn’t want to ruin his reputation for. Gjoni’s made many attempts to reframe thezoepost in the context of abuse awareness or whatever; but in my dealings with him it’s apparent he has no remorse for Zoe’s harassment, except to the extent that it makes him look bad or legally culpable.
Even when told through the lens of someone with no desire to represent Quinn fairly, her desire to be left the fuck alone sounds eminently reasonable. And since the the problematic behavior Eron engages in the most is remorselessly stirring the pot of angry Redditors and 4channers who want to rape her to death a gag clause seems reasonable too. That’s because Gjoni’s inalienable right to write whatever the hell he wants (i.e. freedom of expression) is curtailed by his ex’s inalienable right to live her life without being pilloried, threatened, and harassed by Eron’s internet friends.
To conclude; I believe it’s probably true Zoe Quinn filed a restraining order against Gjoni. It would explain why she did not comment on the earlier inquiries I made regarding this matter (the gag clause works both ways, yo) and is supported by the fact that Eron really can’t seem to shut up about her.
If Eron Gjoni was as over Quinn as he pretends to be, he wouldn’t need $1800 to fight a restraining order she filed against him. He wouldn’t correct every person on Twitter who assumes Quinn left the relationship instead of himself, wouldn’t state (over and over again) that Quinn said she loved him first. These are the kinds of things someone says when they’re still hurt over their ex hurting them.
Here’s why I think Eron can’t let this go. Quinn’s made him internet famous for being (in his own words) “a devilishly attractive beta cuck.” He has hundreds of fans from #gamergate, although Eron’s only meaningful connection to the gaming industry was the one he had with Quinn. If he was forced to stop talking about her he would have little to share with #gamergate’s stated mission; and would attain the status of a dried-up lolcow. I think he keeps stirring the pot on this issue so that his newfound “fans” won’t lose interest in him.
The irony is that Eron’s problems would go away if he could just let this all go. It’s apparent in this little tete-a-tete I noticed today on Twitter:
@eron_gj yo eron, here’s a crazy idea w/r/t your legal woes: how about you shut the fuck up and go away for awhile
Eron’s reply: “Nah.”