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Ralph Watson former Crispin Porter Bogusky creative executive, is making headway in his case against Diet Madison Avenue, the anonymous tell-all account where a group of disgruntled advertising employees stuck pig noses on well-known ad execs photos while accusing them of sexual misconduct.
Watson filed a $100 million defamation suit last May against Diet Madison Avenue, as the account anonymously accused him of being a “sex predator”. Diet Madison Avenue quickly asked for $100,000 in their legal defense fund drive, and they deleted their Instagram page. They managed to raise $1,205 before they removed the GoFundme. Since then it's been rather quiet.
Now it looks like Ralph Watson, who also has filed a suit against Crispin Porter Bogusky for wrongful termination and related charges, is making headway in his suit against the Anonymous Instagram account. His lawyer who is handling the suit in New York, Michael Ayotte, asked for and received a two-month delay before the first conference, which is now set for late May. This will allow for time as Ayotte is expecting to receive identifying information about the people behind the Instagram account by next week. With that information, Watson will be able to serve complaints to the defendants.
Last summer, a California court approved Ayotte's request to subpoena records from Instagram and Facebook that would reveal the identities of the anonymous individuals behind the Diet Madison Avenue social media accounts at Instagram and Facebook.
In response to the request, a defendant known as Doe 3 moved to stop the subpoena and requested a protective order that would keep the defendant’s identity from being revealed publicly. This was denied, and just last month so was the appeal made by Doe 3.
In a letter to the judge on this case, Ayotte explains that he needs more time to serve the responsible defendants in New York once he gets the information requested from Facebook and Instagram.
What we know about the defendants so far is that one of them is a "business entity".
They are listed in court documents as follows: NY Doe 1, an individual; NY Doe 2, an individual; NY Doe 3, an individual; NY Doe 4, an individual; Illinois Doe 1, an individual; Doe Company, an unknown business entity; and Does 1 through 50 inclusive, whose true names and capacities are unknown.
AdAge reported earlier on the suit filed in New York. Watson has previously sued the Los Angeles members of the Instagram account.
The suit says Watson "is informed and believes" DMA is a collective of 17 anonymous individual defendants, with at least an additional 42 individuals who have provided assistance.
The new suit alleges that Watson is aware of the real identity of the four New York individuals but "is suing [them] under an anonymous name to protect the privacy of [these] individual[s] until a suitable protective order is reached by the parties and approved by the Court." It also states that the individual in Illinois has "sufficient minimum contacts to the State of New York as a result of his or her involvement in the events giving rise to this complaint."
In a filing in the Los Angeles case, Watson's attorney said the plaintiff filed the suit before the expiration of the statute of limitations since Watson "anticipates some DMA members will argue they are not subject to personal jurisdiction in California."
The filing references a Colorado federal action Watson has also filed against his former agency, which is ongoing and awaiting a decision by the court on whether the case will go to arbitration or proceed to Colorado federal court.