Yale Law Students Heide Iravani, Brittan Heller get sued

April 22, 2009


Yale Law Students Get Sued for Libel, Slander, Frivolous Filings

Reputation Defender has long been tied to the practice of using shady clients and tactics for free media attention.  This time, the company’s tactic may have backfired.

The company and two of their clients, Yale Law School students Heide Iravani and Brittan Heller, have been sued in Federal Court for charges including: libel, slander, filing frivolous legal papers, and more.

According to the extensive federal complaint (posted to the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog, and several other places online), Reputation Defender encouraged Iravani and Heller to

  • lie to major media outlets about the damage that unflattering internet posts about them had caused
  • file questionable paperwork alleging Copyrights they may not have owned
  • file a lawsuit knowing that one of the defendants (plaintiff Anthony Ciolli) was innocent of the charges of other defendants.
  • stoke a false and unethical whispering campaign about plaintiff Ciolli, designed to malign his reputation and cost him a job.

This last charge is ironic, if true.  Iravani and Heller retained Reputation Defender because of online posts they deemed damaging to their reputations.  Iravani was alarmed about online speculation about her chest-size as well as the revelation that Iravani’s father was a convicted embezzler and felon.  Heller was upset about false speculation regarding a low LSAT score.  Yet it’s since been revealed that neither Heller or Iravani faced any trouble securing employment.

Even more ironic are their activities to “defend” their reputations by slandering Mr. Ciolli’s professional standing.

Of course, Reputation Defender watchers are long accustomed to such subpar ethical action.

The question now is: how well will Iravani, Heller, and Reputation Defender’s reputations fare once all the facts of Ciolli’s lawsuit are made public.

Ciolli’s lawsuit has inspired some spirited legal commentary.  Ciolli’s lawsuit recently survived a desperate attempt for Iravani et al to see the suit dismissed.  We can look forward to more commentary in the future–and sincerely hope it is helpful.