Los Angeles Superior Court
SEP 17, 2013
FREEDMAN & TAITELMAN, LLP
Bryan J. Freedman, Esq. (SBN 151990)
Jesse A. Kaplan, Esq. (SBN 255059)
1901 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 500
Los Angeles, California 90067
Tel: (310) 201-0005
Attorneys for Plaintiff Dawn Simorangkir aka Dawn Younger-Smith
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, CENTRAL DISTRICT
DAWN SIMORANGKIR, aka DAWN YOUNGER-SMITH, an individual, Plaintiff, v. COURTNEY MICHELLE LOVE, an individual; and DOES 1 through 25, inclusive, Defendants.
CASE NO.: BC521565
COMPLAINT FOR LIBEL
Plaintiff Dawn Simorangkir aka Dawn Younger-Smith ("Simorangkir"), an individual, hereby alleges as follows:
1. Simorangkir, an up and coming fashion designer, was previously the victim of Courtney Love's ("Love") vicious, repulsive and conspicuously defamatory rants in multiple public forums such as Twitter, online marketplaces where Simorangkir conducted business, and to Simorangkir's clients and others in the fashion industry. To try to put an end to Love's sociopathic conduct, Simorangkir was forced to bring legal action against her. Love did little to defend herself. At most, Love hired an addiction psychiatrist to try to assert a so-called insanity defense. Recognizing her obvious wrongdoing, Love ultimately not only apologized, but agreed to pay Simorangkir $430,000 so that Simorangkir could try to rebuild her life.
2. Two years later, Simorangkir wants nothing more than to move past her devastating encounter with Love. Love, however, is relentless in making sure that never happens. On May 30, 2013, Love appeared on the Howard Stern Show, a popular talk show that is broadcast to millions. When Stern questioned Love about Simorangkir's prior lawsuit, Love claimed that she "learned her lesson." Ironically, in the same breath, Love blatantly defamed Simorangkir by falsely accusing her of stealing from Love and claiming that this purported theft was captured on closed circuit television videos. Love even went as far as to falsely claim that Simorangkir had engaged in prostitution. Love's reckless comments and flippant attitude seemed to shock even Stern, who admonished Love for "lashing out." Significantly, Stern warned Love that "You can't just blurt things out."
3. What Stern did not know is that Simorangkir has again found herself to be a target of Love's obsessive behavior, this time on Pinterest, a popular social media website. Again, Love is insistent on publically defaming Simorangkir by falsely claiming that Simorangkir stole various garments from her and that his purported theft was captured on closed circuit television videos. Perhaps forgetful of the past, Love has made her intentions clear. Love seeks to use her fame, influence and celebrity, in particular in fashion circles, to undermine Simorangkir's efforts to rebuild. In narcissistic fashion, Love flagrantly taunted Simorangkir about Love's power and influence: "oh wait i have 5500 followers you have what? a few hundred on pinteresst, hmmm dawn wonder why, oh right im me." Clearly, Love has not learned her lesson.
4. Simorangkir is, and at all times herein mentioned was, an individual residing in Austin, Texas.
5. Upon information and belief, Love is an individual who either currently resides or previously resided in Los Angeles County, California.
6. The true names and capacities, whether individual, corporate, associate or otherwise of the defendants named herein as DOES 1 through 25, inclusive, are unknown to Simorangkir who therefore sues said defendants by such fictitious names. Simorangkir alleges on information and belief that each of the defendants, including those designated as a DOE, are responsible for the events alleged herein and the damages caused thereby as a principal, agent, co-conspirator or aider and abettor. Simorangkir will seek leave of this Court to amend this Complaint to allege the true names and capacities of such defendants when the same have been ascertained. Upon information and belief, defendants, at all times relative to this action, were the agents, servants, partners, joint venturers and employees of Love and, in doing the acts alleged herein, were acting with the knowledge and consent of Love.
7. This Court is the proper court for trial of this matter because Love resides or previously resided in Los Angeles County, California, and the acts and occurrences alleged herein occurred in Los Angeles County, California.
8. Simorangkir is a clothing and accessories designer. Since 2002, Simorangkir has marketed and sold her collection under the "Boudoir Queen" trade name, primarily over the internet. In particular, Simorangkir has utilized http://www.etsy.com ("Etsy"), an online marketplace that caters to independent designers.
9. In 2008, Love learned of Simorangkir, and through Etsy, contacted Simorangkir about her Boudoir Queen line. Love began to purchase Boudoir Queen clothing and apparel online and communicate with Simorangkir.
10. Subsequently, Love became infatuated with Simorangkir. Love insisted that Simorangkir fly to Los Angeles to meet with Love regarding the purchase of several custom pieces. In or around November 2008, Love flew Simorangkir to Los Angeles to meet with Love at Love's Malibu home. Love's Malibu home was completely chaotic. Garments were literally scattered everywhere, including in Love's front yard. While in Malibu, Love gave Simorangkir several garments to incorporate into several custom pieces. Following her trip to Los Angeles, Simorangkir provided Love's assistant with a full photographic inventory of all of these garments.
11. In late January 2009, Simorangkir returned to Los Angeles to personally deliver certain Boudoir Queen pieces that she had made for Love. Simorangkir met Love at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, California. Again, Love's room was in disarray. Pieces of clothing were scattered everywhere. After several hours, Simorangkir left the Chateau Marmont and returned to her hotel. The next day, Simorangkir and her husband again met Love at Love's room at the Chateau Marmont. Again, Love was frantic. Around 3 a.m., Simorangkir told Love that she was tired and could not stay up any later. At that point, Love ordered her driver to fill several garment bags with various clothing remnants and trims for Simorangkir to use to make more custom pieces for her. After several bags were filled with Love's clothing remnants, Love's driver took Simorangkir back to her hotel.
12. In early February 2009, the day after Simorangkir left Los Angeles, Simorangkir photographed all of the clothing trims that Love had given to Simorangkir for the purpose of creating an inventory. That same day, Simorangkir e-mailed these photographs to Love's manager, Marie Walsh.
13. Upon information and belief, Love became angered that she had to pay for Simorangkir's work.
14. After completing the first custom dress for Love in or around February 22, 2009, Simorangkir sent Love an invoice in Los Angeles. On February 25, 2009, Simorangkir sent an e-mail to Love's assistant. In particular, Simorangkir told Love's assistant that "Her [Love's] dress is finished and until we have the go ahead to do more we have stopped working on her items for the time being." Simorangkir reassured Love's assistant that "Her trims are at the studio. We can always box everything up and have it weighed and send it back if she [Love] doesn't want us to move forward." (emphasis added).
15. In earch March 2009, after Simorangkir sent Love another invoice, Simorangkir began communicating with Love's attorneys Jonathon Gardner and Bradley Garrett in Los Angeles regarding Love's orders. Simorangkir told Love's attorneys that she would send Love a pice or two at a time. Shortly thereafter, Love voiced her displeasure that Simorangkir was only making one piece at a time. Love also complained about Simorangkir's prices. Love claimed that she could not afford Simorangkir's prices and that Simorangkir should give Love a discount because of who she was. Specifically, on March 10, 2009, Love sent Simorangkir a message through Etsy, in which Love indicated that her attorney Jonathon Gardner would be calling Simorangkir to "work out our deal." Love said that Simorangkir needed to "[m]ake sure that you hurry and get the dresses here." Love also said "i cant afford your prices on line and jg mentioned the piece for piece thing i kinda went apeshit as i gave you over 100 items, and they are over 300,000 dollars worth of clothing and my best finest." (emphasis added).
16. On or about March 14, 2009, Simorangkir sent Mr. Garrett an e-mail that attached a copy of Simorangkir's most recent invoice to Love. Apparently, this invoice further enraged Love. On March 15, 2009, Love left Simorangkir several long and rambling voicemails. In particular, one of Love's messages went on for over three minutes. Love stated that "she had not slept," was "insanely angry," and that she was going to "blacklist" Simorangkir. Finally, Love demanded that Simorangkir send Love two dresses a day for the next ten days. In another long and rambling voicemail, Love expressly said that that "I don't want my shit back." (emphasis added) Again, Love demanded that Simorangkir provide Love with sewn garments within the next ten days.
17. In response to Love's voicemails and demands, on March 15, 2009, Simorangkir sent Love a message through Etsy. Simorangkir told Love that "As far as you being worried about your trims you can rest at ease. We can ship them back to you whenever you like or we can keep making you things. It's all up to you currently."
18. Upon information and belief, that Simorangkir did not comply with Love's ultimatum that Simorangkir fabricate and send Love two dresses per day, triggered Love to follow through with her threat of "blacklisting" Simorangkir.
19. Around the same time, Love began exhibiting an intense level of animosity towards Simorangkir that went well beyond what any reasonable person would consider acceptable behavior. That is, Love mounted a malicious campaign to not only terrorize Simorangkir, but to ruin and destroy her reputation and livelihood. Several years later, Love is as persistent as ever.
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
(For Libel, against all Defendants)
20. Simorangkir re-alleges herein by this reference each and every allegation contained in paragraphs 1 throguh 19, inclusive, of this Complaint as if set forth fully herein.
21. On or about May 30, 2013, Love appeared on the Howard Stern Show, a popular talk show that is broadcast on SiriusXM Satellite Radio and on the internet, including but not limited to, YouTube and Howard TV. While on the Howard Stern Show, Love again claimed that Simorangkir had stolen from Love and that Love has closed circuit television videos of Simorangkir doing so. Specifically, Stern asked Love about her troublesome Twitter habits and Simorangkir's prior defamation lawsuit. In response to Stern's question about Simorangkir, Love stated before an audience of millions that "She had -- I felt like she had stolen from me ... She allegedly stole from me?! I have it on CCTV. Okay, she allegedloy stole from me." Aware of the obvious defamatory nature of Love's comments, Stern admonished Love for her recklessness: "I wouldn't say something unless I knew that it to be one-hundred percent true and I could back it up and prove it. So I will say things that might be disparaging, but I am very -- I'm sort of thought about it. You like to lash out sometimes." In response, Love again defamed Simorangkir, this time accusing her of engaging in prostitution "Well, the fact that in one case someone had told me that they had engaged in prostitution. You know." Again, Stern warned Love: "See that is what I am saying. You throw things out there. Like 'someone,' 'prostitution,' and a name." Despite Stern's warnings, Love continued to defame Simorangkir: "No, she -- they told me that. Maybe they were lying. But you know, hey." Again, Stern admonished Love: "That's my point. You don't -- you can't just blurt things out."
22. Moreover, within the last year, Love has also defamed Simorangkir online by making false statements that Simorangkir stole from Love. Love publically posted the following false statements about Simorangkir on Pinterest, a popular social media website (the "Pinterest Postings"):
a. "your ready to wear is REALLY amazing, and your liscening deal is awesome !!! your price point is sick im so awestruck bu how durable the clothing is and the cut, to die...really. please. you are the worst staljker i have ever had and i can use these photos to reference my textiles and my ideas any time i want as your sitting in my bedroom photographing every item on my floor, gee da3n you left with 30 some bags? best of luck with all the awesome editroails and stuff im sure the top ,models really love wearing your shit on a constant basis. cant eait to buy your clothes on net! best!" (Published by Love on Pinterest)
b. "ah dawn bu thtyere my textiles that you stole so 'styling' isnt exactly the point stealing is though ask bryabn if he'd liek the cctv" (Published by Love on Pinterest) (emphasis added).
c. 'yovce benn stalking me for years you stole 36 bags of clothing on cctv with jason trenton and god knows what else ..." (Published by Love on Pinterest on January 21, 2013) (emphasis added).
d. i didnt produce bernadende mann and i hav a very dfiferent litagotr now, but were far more interested in bryans bheaviour than your hot pionk paint which is about all you got off me you didnt steal, in front of two witnesses bem is my first boyfriends mom and an extremely respected member of the design guoild with an oscar nom she was there that day, out of respect for her i didnt priduce her biut if you want to, hae, you swimming in the good press of it i see. heh,." (Published by Love on Pinterest) (emphasis added).
e. 'waity your clothing line? the stuff you stole my textiles for or this new 'ready to wear' stuff, sweets, good luck with THAT its HILARIOUS." (Published by Love on Pinterest) (emphasis added).
f. 'you stol;e 36 bags of my txtiles and designs and are still using my designs and EVERYONE knows that i just dont hand out freebies in desperation, you go your way dearie ." (Published by Love on Pinterest) (emphasis added).
g. "you are so beneath me and any of my friends its pathetic.gfo sell a cuff glued together made of my textiles noone cares noone ever will. Fact" (Published by Love on Pinterest) (emphasis added).
23. All of Love's statements identified in paragraphs 21 through 22 above are false, in their entirety, as they pertain to Simorangkir.
24. All of Love's false statements identified in paragraphs 21 through 22 are defamatory and libelous on their face as they adversely affect Simorangkir's reputation, expose Simorangkir to hatred, contempt, ridicule, and obloquy, and have a tendency to injure her in her occupation.
25. Love's defamatory statements were seen and read and/or seen by potentially millions of people who reside in California, and elsewhere, by viewing Pitnerest or viewing the Howard Stern Show.
26. Love and the other defendants published the statements either with knowledge that they were false or with reckless disregard as to their truth and falsity.
27. As a proximate result of the above-described publications, Simorangkir has suffered loss of her reputation, shame and mortification, all to her general damage in an amount to be determined at the time of trial, but well in excess of this Court's general jurisdiction. As a proximate result of the above-described publications, Simorangkir has suffered special damages in an amount to be determined at the time of trial, but well in excess of this Court's general jurisdiction.
28. Love published the above-described statements with malice, oppression, because of her feelings of hatred and ill-will toward Simorangkir, and with willful and conscious disregard for Simorangkir's rights, thereby justifying an award of punitive damages against Love. Love intended to use her power and influence to injure and "blackball" Simorangkir. Indeed, Love previously left menacing voicemails for Simorangkir, threatening that she would be "blacklisted." In one e-mail, Love told her entourage that she wanted a message delivered to Simorangkir. Love wanted Simorangkir to know that Love wanted to "Punish rip off dawn," that "[I]'ll make her totally unfamous," and that "Enemies are the last thing you need." Love further claimed that "[E]veryone will boycott her ass," that Simorangkir "Wont get into anywhere" and that Simorangkir would be "taken out."
WHEREFORE, Simorangkir prays for judgment in her favor against Defendants, and each of them, as follows:
1. For general damages according to proof at the time of trial, but in an amount in excess of the jurisdictional limits of this Court;
2. For special damages according to proof at the time of trial, but in an amount in excess of the jurisdictional limits of this Court;
3. For interest on any monetary award to Simorangkir at the legal rate;
4. For puntive damages;
5. For costs of suit incurred herein; and
6. For such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.
September 17, 2013
FREEDMAN & TAITELMAN, LLP
By: Bryan J. Freedman
Jesse A. Kaplan
Attorneys for Plaintiff Dawn Simorangkir aka Dawn Younger-Smith