On Tuesday, Shepherd took aim at a website called “Blog for Democracy,” which describes itself as a group blog that launched in 2004 to cover “progressive” politics in Georgia. In a Monday comment on that blog by Melanie Goux, who serves on the board of The Fulton County Arts Council, Goux remarks on how long it took Shepherd to change his name and also comments on Shepherd’s wife, Manuela, a native of Germany.
Writes Goux: “This means for almost 20 years, Jason went about daily life under an assumed (anglo sounding) surname, until Mr. Goldfarb was ready to marry his mail order bride. Given his history, someone should probably check on Mrs. Shepherd.”
In a letter sent Tuesday to Goux, Shepherd’s Marietta attorney Steven Ellis called the blog libelous for “imputing that Mr. Shepherd is currently committing physical violence against his wife.”
“This imputation is completely false,” the letter states. “Falsely implying Mr. Shepherd is committing a crime is sufficient to prove Libel Per Se under standards set forth in Georgia case law.
“Furthermore your statement concerning Mrs. Shepherd being a ‘mail order bride’ constitutes both the tort of invasion of privacy by publicity which places one in a false light in the public eye and Libel Per Se. Mrs. Shepherd is not, nor ever was, a mail order bride as you claim,” Ellis writes.
Ellis is demanding an immediate retraction of both statements to be posted on the Blog for Democracy site “or suit will be filed against you.”