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Taking Liberties: A lawsuit worthy of a Google search

 

He was the youngest prosecutor in Norwalk, Conn. He worked for the NFL and was an analyst on Court TV.

But if you Google Matt Couloute, the first thing that comes up is: Liarscheatersrus.com, a site that warns women web-surfers about men who lie and cheat in their personal relationships.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Couloute, as he walked in front of the Federal Courthouse in downtown Manhattan. “Anyone can go online and do that to somebody.”

It’s one of the pitfalls of the Internet and our national obsession with googling anyone and everyone we meet, Couloute said.

“Anyone can slander someone anonymously and just get away with it.”

But in Matt’s case, his “slanderer” isn’t so anonymous. In fact, Amanda Ryncarz, Matt’s former girlfriend, fully admits posting on the site about their three-year relationship.

“I posted on liarscheatersrus.com,” she said in a written statement, “because I wanted to warn other women in order to protect them from what I suffered.”

Couloute is now suing Ryncarz for “tortuous interference with prospective business relations. It’s a case that could determine what people are and are not allowed to post on the Web.

What Ryncarz allegedly “suffered” is fully available to anyone who googles Couloute. It includes her detailed descriptions of Couloute’s broken promises and what she describes as a pattern of deceit.

“Over and over,” her statement continued, “Mathew led me to believe that we were going to get married.”

“I was shocked when he called me on the telephone on October 3, 2010, to tell me our relationship was not working,” she said, “and I was even more shocked to learn twelve days later, he married another woman.”

Couloute says he can’t get away from the posts, which he says have ruined his life. He claims he’s lost clients, and it even got in the way of buying his dream home.

“Everyone asks me ‘is this going to affect our business?’” he said. “People, when we went to buy a house, we've had homeowners want to know what's going on with the story, how it's going to affect our ability to pay our mortgage.”

Included in Couloute’s lawsuit is Stacey Blitsch, mother of Couloute’s young son. Blitsch denies posting on the site but claims she is tired of Matt’s lying and cheating.

“I have had enough,” she wrote in a statement. “I want people to know the truth.”

Both Blitsch and Ryncarz have hired bodyguard of the broken-hearted, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred.

“It seems ironic that men can lie and cheat,” said Allred, “and then look to the courts for legal protection.”

Allred has dire predictions for Internet freedom “if Matt is successful in silencing the truth.”

“I think the minimum the women should be allowed to do,” continued Allred, “is to speak out and speak the truth about the men who they have had relationships [with] and about the men who have hurt them.”

She says that is exactly what the Internet is good for.

“We believe lawsuits like this should not be allowed,” continued Allred, who says she is devoting her life to helping abused women. “This is free speech. Women must have a voice and be able to speak to each other on matters of common interest without fear of being dragged into court.”

“[They] don’t have the right to defame people on the Internet,” countered Couloute, who says he’s bringing the lawsuit on behalf of anyone who’s been wronged on the web.

“It’s just wrong and someone has to stand up,” he said.

A New York judge will hear the case early next year.

Douglas Kennedy currently serves as a correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York.

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