Today, author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, who used social media to express her passionate disappointment with the TV script adaptation of her book The Dirty Girls Social Club, issued an apology on her blog to producer Ann Lopez, Lynette Ramirez, and writer Luisa Leschin.
In a rather lengthy blog post of 3,700 words that describes her perspective on the entire social media saga and discloses information about the legal battle being waged with Lopez’s attorney, Valdes-Rodriguez says the following around the middle of the post:
As a person and as a woman, I understand that it is probably horrifying for Lopez, Ramirez and Leschin to learn of my discontent with the script through social media. I am sorry for any pain this has caused them.
The post begins with a summary of her objections to the script, and then shares the following information:
I will also continue to object to the misleading manner in which Encanto obtained the rights to my work. More about that below, but rest assured that my lawyers are now looking at Encanto’s conduct very closely and determining whether or not Encanto even legally have any rights to my book, as contracts when induced by misrepresentations can be deemed unenforceable.
No surprise, then, that Lopez, Ramirez and Leschin have remained quiet in the public sphere but have silently unleashed famed Hollywood litigation attorney Marty Singer upon me. To date, Mr. Singer has sent me two lengthy and fascinatingly colorful and threatening letters accusing me of having defamed his clients in blog posts and in updates on social media sites. Singer has hinted he might use wikipedia and other unreliable sources to question my mental health should I refuse to obey his demands for retractions.
Before she gets to the apology, she states:
The demands Singer has outlined require me in some instances to flat-out lie to protect the reputations of his clients. How sad. Perhaps they should have thought about all of this before twisting my work into something that is not only unrecognizable as my book, but contrary to many of my core values as a writer and human being.
After stating the apology, she says:
I admit that I fired off some perhaps emotionally generated and ill-advised Facebook updates and tweets, and inadvertently made potentially disparaging statements in my blog in the early days of having read the script in question. I felt incredibly betrayed, and cornered, and threatened. I could hardly breathe, I was so stunned and wounded by the script.
Later in the post she states:
I do very much regret lashing out the way I did, not because of Marty Singer’s letters, but rather because I honestly don’t want to be abusive or appear thoughtless and irresponsible. I am impulsive and expressive at times, passionate and wordy as might be expected in a prolific creative writer. Impulsivity and expressiveness are both my best qualities and my worst. But in my haste to release the crippling anxiety and severe emotional distress caused by the betrayal the script committed against me and my novel, I wrote several things that were either hyperbole, inadvertent mistakes, or unwise, juvenile and unfounded judgments of character and intention.
The post goes into more lengthy detail about her challenges at the Los Angeles Times, where her letter of resignation was published on the Internet, and recounts other details about the struggle she had over the last three weeks. She then writes this:
When and if we get there, I want it on the record that I am absolutely sorry for any and all of the posts and updates I unleashed that contained genuine factual errors or personal attacks or judgments about Lopez, Ramirez and Leschin. It was my own emotional devastation and terror of a potentially ruined literary career at these people’s hands talking. I was betrayed that no one so much as asked for my opinion on any of it, even though they’d promised to do exactly that. I felt used, disrespected. I was humiliated to think of the Encanto vision of my novel ever being aired. It hurt in the same way it hurts to find out someone you love is cheating on you. And in the heat of that passion, I lashed out. That was wrong.
She also stated the following:
I am linking this retraction, correction and apology on my Facebook pages, twitter account and everywhere else that I can find where bloggers or media have linked to my situation, because I understand and respect that all retractions, corrections and apologies must be as widely available and disseminated as the original statements were. I cannot, however, control how blogs and sites and accounts other than my own will be handled.
Now, Mr. Litigation Counsel Singer and Encanto, this single Mom, just trying to get by and eek out a living here, has done everything you have asked. I have retracted all allegedly defamatory statements in the broadest possible manner I can and indeed, I have truly and honestly from my heart of hearts apologized. If you read what I have written, you’ll see all of that. I really do feel sorry for anything I may have done which is hurtful. So please leave me alone.
She closes with this:
And please Mr. Singer and Encanto, stop trying to quell my First Amendment Rights by threatening to defame me. Your harassing and truly abusive letters which have also been published to third parties, and can be tantamount to defamation themselves, are also being watched and analyzed just as closely as you monitor my posts and indeed any actionable defamatory statements made by you about me will also subject you to substantial liability and be dealt with in the courts of law as well as the courts of public opinion. All of my rights are hereby reserved as well, Mr. Singer.Peace out.
It has indeed been a wild couple of weeks for Valdes-Rodriguez. This story has come full circle. The question now remains: will this ever come to a resolution?
UPDATE: The online MediaBistro outlet, FishbowlLA, just posted an article adding more details about attorney Singer and his claims that Valdes-Rodriguez used a poster of David Duke on in her social media posts regarding this issue. Valdes-Rodriguez denied these claims. As the one blog that actively monitored all of Valdes-Rodriguez’s posts, we did not discover any evidence that she indeed had posted that image.