Actor Ron Livingston Sues Over ‘Malicious’ Gay Rumors on Wikipedia

LlivingstonActor Ron Livingston has filed a lawsuit because, he says, he's being subject to ongoing harassment on Wikipedia by an unknown editor of his page there to make it look as though he's in a gay relationship.

TMZ reports: "Ron — who married a woman earlier this year — claims some mystery Internet bandit began relentlessly changing his Wiki page to say he's in a relationship with a man named Lee Dennison … a claim Livingston says is completely false and 'malicious.'

According to the lawsuit, filed yesterday in L.A. County Superior Court, the Wiki-hacking began back in May — and every time Ron's reps remove the false info from his Wiki page … the bandit 'changes them back almost immediately.'

And it gets better: Ron believes the perp also created fake Facebook profiles for himself and Lee, and both pages claim the two are 'In a relationship' with each other.

Livingston is suing for libel, invasion of privacy and for using his name and likeness without his permission. Damages haven't been specified."

Comments

  1. patrick nyc says

    I first saw him in a flick my brothers recommended, Office Space. He was pretty good, as was Jennifer Aniston, her first major flick when she was doing friends. Then most know him from Sex in the City. He was Carries boyfriend Berger, who broke up with her with a post it.

    He works a lot, so I also don’t see why he would be making this more of a story, it would blow over if he said nothing, which most would do if it was not true. Doesn’t Ms Cruise also have a band of lawyers who sue for him over this kind of shit?

  2. says

    As quick as everyone is to mock him, I can see why that would be an issue for him. First, the person continually re-adds the information even when he removes it. Second, he’s an actor, which means his public persona is essential to his career, and sadly we still live in a time where info like this would effect his hireability.

  3. TANK says

    I’M SUING THE INTERNETZ BECAUSE I HATE FIRST AMENDMENT! BLAH! This guy is going to lose big time. And I seriously hope the hacking of his wiki page doesn’t end. That is hilarious, and he is a douche.

  4. Charlie says

    Since I have never heard of this guy, I am grateful to the people who have posted in the comments some of his credits. Neither TMZ nor Towleroad say who is being sued. Crappy reporting all around.

    If he has a problem with Wikipedia he could have requested them to lock his page from editing. They do this on controversial issues. But then he wouldn’t be getting mentioned on TMZ.

    And rumors generally surround people the gay community wants to be gay. For instance, gay people talk about Hermy the Elf. No one cares about the Pillsbury dough boy. (Too harsh? I’m sorry — this story pisses me off.)

  5. says

    @Charlie: If you’re a hard-working office-type, you owe it to yourself to watch OfficeSpace. It is the embodiment of all that is wrong with corporate culture. I would argue that @PatrickNYC is dead wrong on how “most” people know him. “Most” to Patrick might include the gays and women (the audience for “Sex and the City,” no?) but us cool kids will always know him first and foremost for his OfficeSpace lead.

  6. says

    OK, I admit it, I’ve got a crush on him. That being said, is he claiming the libel based on adultery or a homosexual relationship. The first is fine by me, the second is questionable.

    Back before the Web (1989), someone actually did this to me: they fraudulently submitted an entry into my college alumni magazine saying that I was “with” another gay friend of mine and implying our corruption of autistic boys. Really. Even as a non-celebrity, it’s an invasion of your life when someone makes claims like this publicly when they’re so off-base.

  7. says

    So straight people think being regarded as “gay” is defamatory ? Well, well, well…….
    Could it lead to not getting acting roles ? Could it lead to adverse comment or discrimination behind your back ?
    Welcome to our world, Mr.Livingston.

  8. Gabe R L says

    Tool. The best thing for him to do would be to ignore it. After all, its easy for people who know him and those who want to hire him to verify what is true about his personal life. By suing he only brings a lot of unnecessary attention, giving his harasser a bigger audience, and the satisfaction of knowing that the rumours bother him. He also looks like a homophobe. And trying to have the page locked would be almost as bad as suing.

  9. Todd Phillips says

    I hope the wiki douche gets ID’d and sued.

    It’s about time some of the jackasses spreading lies and crapping up wiki had some repercussions for their actions.

    Of course, anyone unfamiliar with just how messed up it is to find misinformation and lies on wiki wouldn’t care.

    This is also about using the Internet to harass and impersonate people.

    Why anyone would mock this and think it’s OK to just let it happen is just an indication of how people tend to increasingly think it’s OK to use technology to hide, like cowards, behind anonymity.

  10. says

    By approaching the matter as he has, Livingston has done himself more damage than the prankster. He should take a page from Greg Behrendt, who invented Berger and and whom the character was based. Greg has been so cool with gay guys since 1985 that he was doing jokes about what would later be called meterosexuality way back then. And I’m sure he’s gotten a lot more muff than Livingston.

    So now some people think Livingston is gay and everyone knows he’s enough of an asshole to call being labeled gay “malicious.”

    I never want to see his badly aging face again.

    Does anyone?

  11. Mark says

    “…a claim Livingston says is completely false and ‘malicious.'”

    OK Ron. It may be false but how is it “malicious”? Do you think being thought of as Gay is disgusting and vile?

    Fuck you Livingston.

  12. Pinky Tuscadero says

    Girls Please,

    He’s not GAY and doesn’t appreciate being called so. Why are you so upset? We don’t like folks calling us FAGGOTS! and yet we are!

    Please whatever queen did this. It’s simply wrong!

  13. says

    Okay, I can understand him suing for invasion of privacy and for using his name and likeness without his permission, fair enough. But “Libel”? I thought we’d moved on from a point where being labeled Gay (unless someone yells out that you’re a “f****t”) was defamatory…

  14. says

    First, I know Ron and he isn’t gay.

    Second, it is far past time that someone stood up and demanded that Wikipedia and other internet-based information sources have some level of credibility. Providing countless people access to “edit” a page with false information has got to end. In the early stages of social media, maybe, but now that these sites are routinely referenced as fact-based, there needs to be some accountability. This lawsuit has been long-coming for Wikipedia. Frankly, I’m surprised it took this long.

    Third, how typical of some Towleroad commenters to assume that it is “malicious” because he is being labeled gay. Did you ever consider that it could be “malicious” because he is married and doesn’t appreciate rumors that he is in a relationship outside his marriage (gender pronoun-free)?

    The days of anyone with an internet connection becoming a journalist of some sort need to end. Credibility needs to be restored and people (celebrities and otherwise) have a right to guarantee that only factual information about them is presented as so.

    Good for Ron Livingston, it’s about damn time!

  15. Frozen North says

    wow, I don’t get the hostility. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Why are you second guessing wether he’s straight or not? What’s it to you? Meanwhile, internet bullying (which is essentially what this is) shouldn’t be tolerated, period. It’s all fun to be snarky, until someone makes a fake facebook/manhunt/craigslist profile for you,eh?

  16. says

    Why is he suing Wikipedia, though? The vandal in question isn’t employed by the Wikimedia Foundation, and isn’t hiding behind a registered username. It’s pretty trivial to track down the defamer and sue them directly instead. Suing Wikipedia for this is like suing AT&T because a third party said something defamatory in a phone call.

  17. says

    Whenever I see actors commenting on gay rumors about them, I think of the guys that handled it the best: Ben Affleck & Matt Damon. Rumors flew around about them and then Ben said, “If I were gay, I’d want to be Rupert Everett gay–really out there.”

    He didn’t treat the rumors as hurtful, just inaccurate. By embracing and mocking it (anyone see “I’m fucking Ben Affleck” on Jimmy Kimmel?) he’s shot down the rumors better than any denial can.

  18. says

    Once again, for those in the back, the TMZ report is pathetically simplistic (it’s TMZ for fuck sake), so we don’t know whether the libel is about him being an alleged adulterer or gay or both.

    If someone claimed I was straight like that, I might sue.

  19. Rikard says

    What the hell is wrong with everyone here? This guy has a stalker. Probably the guy who is claimed to be in a relationship with him. You are all to concerned that he doesn’t want to be called gay to think about what some lying malicious psycho hunting you and your reputation would mean to YOU. If none of you have had an ex, or someone you turned down spread vicious rumours about you, then you are lucky

  20. anon says

    This is how they list his personal life now:

    Livingston and his Standoff costar DeWitt began a relationship after meeting each other on the show.[6] After dating for three years, they were married on November 2, 2009, in San Francisco.[7] He was previously engaged to Lisa Sheridan. [8]

    They locked his account on Nov 5th, citing their new celebrity lock-down policy. “Malicious” is required for celebrity libel suits. He can only win damages if the false light claims were “malicious” because he is a public personality (celebrity). A normal person does not need to show malicious intent. Wiki gets sued a lot, and they always win because they don’t have editorial control–they fall under safe harbor protections of the DMCA.

  21. patrick nyc says

    I would argue that @PatrickNYC is dead wrong on how “most” people know him. “Most” to Patrick might include the gays and women (the audience for “Sex and the City,” no?) but us cool kids will always know him first and foremost for his OfficeSpace lead.

    POSTED BY: TOMMYOC | DEC 6, 2009 2:15:16 PM
    ————
    TOMMYBOY if you read my post, I wrote:

    ‘I first saw him in a flick my brothers recommended, Office Space. He was pretty good, as was Jennifer Aniston, her first major flick when she was doing friends. Then most know him from Sex in the City.’

    I mentioned the office first, then Sex in the City. If you look at the same story in Huffington Post, where I first saw it, most mentioned his work in the new show, then equally the two I mentioned.

    So it’s you ‘cool’ kid who is wrong.

  22. Beef and Fur says

    Wow they called him gay. That’s really bad. Just think of how bad it would be if they called him a pedophile, a necrophiliac, a murderer, zoophiliac, said he had multiple wives, was engaged to a goat….

  23. Houndentenor says

    He is being harassed. This isn’t a free speech issue. This is someone being a jerk. I would be annoyed to if someone was claiming I was in a different relationship than the one I’m in and so would all the people who think this is no big deal.

  24. Lonnie says

    Ron Livingston, homophobic pig. News flash, being called gay is not a slander. The proper response when someone assumes a straight person is gay is “I’m sorry, but that is an honor I do not share.”

  25. no8 says

    I think the act itself qualifies as harassment, whether or not if it is true; or what exactly is being said.

    I know a girlfriend of mine who refused a dude because she wasn’t interested in having sex with him…as a result he went around and spread rumors that she was gay. She clearly is not because today she is in a perfectly happy marriage with a man, and has never really shown interest in girls. She is very gay friendly and supportive of gay rights. And she doesn’t care about being called gay. However, that guy was a jerk nonetheless.

    People use false stories and innuendo as intimidation tactics. People are right, it does have some anti-gay undertones, but don’t you commenters think that the anonymous editor is the one being Homophobic? That this wiki editor is posting this information purposely as an insult?

  26. Jeff Dunivant says

    Leave him alone, you can’t force people out of the closet, after all he is not Perez Hilton with his doodling dicks on people’s faces (childish) I do not think that he is gay myself but once again it is a personal decision to disclose whether or not to proceed.

  27. Gabe R L says

    Some recent posters are indeed correct to point out that what is happening to Livingston is harassment, and that he does have a stalker, and you have to question why Wiki kept letting untrue or dubious info b posted. If that is all its about people would probably have been more sympathetic. The problem is the way Livingston reacted to being called gay itself, apart from the adultery accusation. The anti-gay sentiment lost him a lot of sympathy that he would otherwise have gotten. Gay men are understandably sensitive to any real or perceived slight to male homosexuality and gay men.

  28. rjp3 says

    Mr. Livingston just lost a lot of the gay hipster fans of “Office Space”, “Swingers” and “Sex and The City”.

    Way uncool.
    Who cares and who even knew ??

    And what is wrong with Wikipedia – why not lock down his entry from editing when this is going on? They do it for all the right wing politicians.

  29. Scott says

    Agree with PatrickNYC, why doesn’t he just ignore it? I think most people know how Wiki works, that anyone can mess with it.

    I do like him as an actor. I have been watching Adaptation On Demand this week, and he plays Nic Cage’s agent in it. In one scene, he keeps saying, “See that woman? I fucked her up that ass…I’d fuck her up the ass….”

  30. gc says

    UM – to everyone here who automatically thinks that everything is all about you and your issues –

    Did it ever occur to you that the charges he’s bringing up have absolutely nothing to do with being called gay? He is a married man who is being repeatedly accused of adultery, to the point of being stalked. I would say that is malicious and libelous, absolutely.

  31. True2LifeCharacter says

    Oh Berger is right! He never liked fur-burger, thus Carrie finally dumped him because of it. He was Bad-Sex-in-the-City and a true to life character.

Leave A Reply