Man suffers setback after suing 50 women who claimed he was a bad date

By John Mercury April 9, 2024

A Los Angeles court has thrown out the first of more than 50 cases against women who claimed on a private Facebook group that a man was a bad date.

Stewart Lucas Murrey from Santa Monica in California has sued 50 women for defamation and sex-based discrimination.

The women posted on a Facebook group titled Are We Dating The Same Guy? Los Angeles, which has almost 54,000 members, that Dr Murrey had behaved inappropriately on dating apps including Tinder and Hinge.

A fundraising appeal created to support the women sued, which was posted on the GoFundMe website, said Dr Murrey was suing for damages amounting to $2.6m (£2m) for “emotional distress and pain and suffering”.

On Monday, the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles threw out the case against one defendant, Vanessa Valdes, after “considering the moving papers, all documents relating to the motion, and oral arguments”.

On a GoFundMe set up to support his legal case, Dr Murrey claimed at least 238 Facebook accounts “participated in harming me for over a year”.

He said: “Some of their acts included posting my pictures without my permission, tracking my whereabouts, conspiring to harass me, fabricating entire stories, and sensationalising their unremarkable interactions with me.

Facebook groups like the one at the centre of the legal proceedings have been created in cities around the world, often having tens of thousands of members.

Organisers of the Los Angeles group say it is “a place for women to protect, support, and empower other women”.

The group the women posted about Dr Murrey in. Pic: Facebook
Image:
The group the women posted about Dr Murrey in. Pic: Facebook

Women can post pictures of men they have dated, or are planning to date, in the group and members comment underneath to “warn other women about liars, cheaters, abusers, or anyone who exhibits any type of toxic or dangerous behaviour”.

In his GoFundMe, Dr Murrey said: “I support a safe space for women to protect themselves against being stalked, harassed or harmed, and not the other way around.

“These women exploited the concept of a safe space to gossip, defame and cyberbully anyone at whim. The acts of these defendants are hate-filled and unrelenting.”

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He also said that he has never met most of the women he is suing, saying: “I have barely talked to, if ever, any of them.

“I only recall meeting one of them and her for less than 15 minutes before I left. Any minimal interaction with them was abruptly cut off by my swift rejection.”

In a news conference held last month by some of the women sued by Dr Murrey, they said they were “just speaking their truth and, unfortunately for him, it was not favourable”.

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In their GoFundMe page, the women said: “We were simply coming together to share truthful accounts of our personal experiences.

These included valid concerns pertaining to the plaintiff’s unsettling behaviour and background, all of which is public information.

“It is our opinion that this plaintiff poses a legitimate danger to the women of Los Angeles. Our negative interactions with him have spanned years. We plan to finally put an end to his harassing ways once and for all.”

Dr Murrey and the defendants did not respond immediately to Sky News’ requests for comment.

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