The reporter who created “Sh—y Media Men,” a spreadsheet listing allegations of harassment and sexual assault against 70 newsmen, may be facing a defamation trial after a federal judge tossed her bid for immunity.
Moira Donegan, 32, was sued for defamation in 2018 by Stephen Elliott, a New Orleans-based writer whose name appeared in the online document. Elliott is seeking $1.5 million in damages from Donegan and other creators of the list, claiming libel and emotional distress.
“Because Defendant has not met her burden on the question of whether she specifically encouraged unlawful content, her motion must fail,” US District Court Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall said in court papers filed Thursday.
Roberta Kaplan, Donegan’s lawyer, tried to obtain immunity for Donegan under the Communications Decency Act, a controversial law that protects social media users who republish or host information, from being held legally responsible for what others do online.
Although Donegan was behind the creation of the spreadsheet, she encouraged other women to contribute with their own allegations of impropriety against men in the media, according to court documents.