By Dareh Gregorian
January 6, 2009
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A former Vogue cover girl is standing up to cyber bullies – fighting to unmask the anonymous cowards who’ve turned to the Web to ruin her reputation in the modeling business with a “Skanks in NYC” blog.
Liskula Cohen, 36, is seeking a court order that would force Google to reveal the person or persons behind the postings so she can hold them accountable with a defamation lawsuit.
The anonymous bloggers have “posted entries, including photographs, captions to the photographs and commentary solely about Liskula Cohen that describe her as a ‘skank’ and a ‘ho,’ ” her filing in Manhattan Supreme Court says.
Cohen hopes to at least force a level playing field by exposing her tormenter.
“I was shocked and embarrassed” to see photo captions and commentary “that were used to describe me as a promiscuous woman who is filthy, disgusting, foul and a whore,” Cohen said in an affidavit.
“The statements and suggestions made on the blog are malicious and untrue.”
The site also includes “other defamatory statements concerning her appearance, hygiene and sexual conduct,” the filing says.
“I would have to say the first-place award for “Skankiest in NYC” would have to go to Liskula Gentile Cohen,” “Anonymous” wrote in one posting. “She’s a psychotic, lying, whoring . . . skank . . . Desperation seeps from her soul, if she even has one.”
Cohen’s lawyer, Steven Wagner, said the former Australian Vogue cover model is “very upset” about the cyber attacks.
“The law protects freedom of speech, including anonymous speech, but it doesn’t protect defamation, and people should not think that they can defame others on the Internet or on blogs by hiding behind a screen name,” he said.
Cohen is no stranger to pain.
In January 2007, she was at the club Ultra on West 26th Street when she got into an argument with a man named Samir Dervisevic, who’d tried helping himself to a bottle of vodka on Cohen’s table.
He ended the spat by stabbing her in the face with a broken glass, disfiguring her.
“I went to the bathroom and I saw my whole career go down the drain. I looked in the mirror and saw a hole in my face the size of a quarter. I’ve been a model my whole life, and I’ve never had another job,” she told The Post last year.
Her career skidded to a halt while she had to undergo plastic surgery to repair the damage, and her filing says she doesn’t need any more agony.
“Defamatory statements describing me as a ‘skank’ and a ‘ho’ affect my reputation and desirability for endorsing products,” and are “hurtful, potentially damaging to my reputation, and, significantly, they are flatly untrue,” her affidavit says.
Cohen isn’t without her fans – one blog commenter wrote that the person posting the blog was a “silly, silly fat girl.”
“[D]o you wait three hours in line at a club, when she breezes right in?” the person asked.