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Model Accuses TheEroticReview Owner of Cybersquatting

Model Accuses TheEroticReview Owner of Cybersquatting
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Nov 4, 2008 1:00 PM PST    Text size: 
LOS ANGELES — The owner of TheEroticReview.com has been hit with a federal lawsuit, claiming he launched and profited from a website using photos and videos of an online adult model.

The copyright infringement case, filed at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, not only makes cybersquatting claims but also includes charges of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, because the defendant allegedly used the model's real birth name in a domain name.

The online adult model, who also says she is engaged in an escort service and lives in Long Beach, Calif., is named as a Jane Doe in the suit.

She said she fears for her life because her home address was allegedly published on the site, which wasn't disclosed in the suit.

David Elms, the owner of TheEroticReview.com, told XBIZ that on Tuesday he had yet been served with any court papers. The suit names Elms, as well as Elms Web Services Inc. of Torrance, Calif.

"I don't know anything about a suit against me," he told XBIZ.

The complaint alleges that “Elms directed his anger and vengeance at Doe because she refused to engage in sexual intercourse with him and because Doe refused to allow her name to be published on a website he controls.”

“Since Elms set out to intentionally harm Doe, she has had men locate her at her residence, her family has ceased communicating with her and she became very depressed, to the point of considering suicide,” the suit said.

Doe, who owns a members-only subscription website through her Kentucky-based company BFN LLC, said that she learned of Elms’ website that uses her real birth name and images of her in March.

The suit also said Elms reproduced that material on a mirror site, www.thetruthabout_____.com (which includes Doe’s fictitious escort name), and redirected it to the site with Doe’s real birth name.

Doe said in the suit that Elms also disseminated defamatory statements on the website, alleging that the adult entertainer “is … a coke addict” and that she doesn’t hold a PhD, which she claims in her own website.

Elms also is accused of sending a letter to Doe’s family and friends, informing them that she is a prostitute. As a result, she said, her immediate family has severed all ties with her.

“Elms embarked upon a crusade to ruin Doe’s life, in order to get back at her for her refusal to have sexual intercourse with him,” the suit said.

Doe, in the suit, is asking for a permanent injunction and actual, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorneys fees.

TheEroticReview.com hosts escort reviews, site reviews, discussion boards and live chat. Visitors rank their experiences with prostitutes on a scale of 1 to 10, as well as to leave comments. It reportedly gets 500,000 to 1 million uniques visitors each month.

Elms’ operation has been reported on by a number of mainstream outlets.

Elms, in an interview with MSNBC in 2006, said he started TheEroticReview in 1999 because he wanted to empower the customers of prostitutes.

The New York Times reported earlier this year that a deputy New York district attorney said Elms was criminally charged after a night in 2006 when police were called to a hotel where they found him with 3.8 grams of cocaine and a loaded semi-automatic weapon.

A prostitute was there and said Elms had forced her to perform oral sex at gunpoint, but there was not enough evidence to press charges on that accusation, the deputy district attorney told the Times.

Adult industry attorney Michael Fattorosi, who represents Doe in the suit, told XBIZ he could not comment on the pending case.

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