back to article James Woods demands $10m from Twitter troll for 'coke addict' claim

Actor James Woods is suing a Twitter troll for wrongly branding him a "cocaine addict." Woods, who says he is not a drug addict, wants $10m in damages. The Hollywood star's legal eagles have this week filed suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court against the whoever is behind the Twitter account "Abe List" over a July 15 tweet …

  1. Kevin Fairhurst

    How does he arrive at the damages figure?

    Can he really claim that he has lost that much work due to some Twitter postings, or is he making it up and hoping he can con the jury?

    1. Nameless Faceless Computer User

      Re: How does he arrive at the damages figure?

      Standard operating procedure. It's reasonable, considering if he can prove he lost a movie deal because of the comment he can sue for lost wages.

  2. DropBear Silver badge

    This is ludicrous. I certainly hope Mr. Woods gets a rude wake-up call regarding the realities of the intertubes. There should be a revocable license granted before one can be a Person Of Public Interest which should include an extensive course on How To Disregard Every Dumb Thing Some Schmuck Might Think (And Write) About Me.... Epic fail, Mr. Woods. *slow clap*

    1. Justin Pasher

      You do realize that something called libel still exists, even in the days of the internet, and it's illegal, right? Whether this will constitute that is up to the courts.

      1. John Tserkezis

        "You do realize that something called libel still exists, even in the days of the internet, and it's illegal, right? Whether this will constitute that is up to the courts."

        You do realise that if you don't have an entire team of lawyers working for you, it won't mean crap.

        Ask all those who have been bullied to death (literally, via suicide, ironcially on Twitter too), does libel exist?

        Bull fucking shit.

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          And if the guy that has enough cash to throw a team of lawyers onto the lowlife succeeds in making them think twice before doing it to someone else, would that be a bad thing ?

          1. Patrick R

            If this is sarcastic, it is an excellent reply. I mean if Mr Lowlife has the right to do it why not J. Woods?

        2. Sherrie Ludwig

          John, if this goes to trial and Mr. Woods wins, this WILL strike a blow in the name of those who have been hounded on the internet. Sure, you can call me names, but if you allege publicly that I engage in a certain deleterious action (in this case, taking drugs) you had better have proof or I have grounds to sue. Do I think he will collect? probably not. Do I think he is justified? Yes. Being in the public eye means you had better have a thick skin, but it doesn't mean you can be libeled at will.

    2. Daggerchild Silver badge

      Why are you demanding that humans stop being human after too many people know them?

      Just because the Internet is swilling with the most caustic psycho-assasinating pigs known to man, it doesn't mean that's good. It's pretty obviously bad.

      A man is going to be judged for attacking another man. That's actually perfectly normal out here in civilisation. Not sure what you're complaining about.

  3. thomas k

    What'd James do to piss this Abe guy off so bad, hog all the coke at a party?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      You waved the red flag... incoming lawsuit!!!!!! <dives for bunker>

  4. Khaptain Silver badge

    If you wanna get down, down on the ground

    Speak to James

  5. Florida1920 Silver badge

    He should be ashamed

    James Woods starred in "Salvador," a movie that depicted Republican adminstrations' disregard for human rights as long as the dictators took the anti-commie pledge -- and he's a Republican????? Man, what substances did that to you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He should be ashamed

      What? Being a Republican doesn't mean that he has to condone human rights violations or meddling with other sovereign states (El Salvador), or that he's pro-Trump. If you want a party where everyone thinks the same and votes the same look no further than the dictatorships.

      1. Florida1920 Silver badge

        Re: He should be ashamed

        The Republicans have a long and consistent history of ignoring human rights, at home and abroad. The voting history of the Republicans in national office today shows that history lives on. FFS, he at least could switch to Independent.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: He should be ashamed

          "honest" Abe - democrat Republican

          Strom Thurmond former senator & member of KKK republican democrat

          Gov George Wallace republican democrat

          JFK (supported coup against Diem, encouraged the PoPigs invasion) republican democrat

          Just sayin'

          1. HCV

            Re: He should be ashamed

            Just sayin', not thinkin'

          2. Hollerith 1

            Re: He should be ashamed

            Please stop being misleading about Lincoln's political party. American parties have general swapped and re-used the words 'Democrat'. 'Republican', 'Federalist' etc over the course of their two-plus centuries. The Republican party of Licoln's time was a fresh start-up and was a radical/liberal party opposed to slavery and so on. Over time, the Democrats and this new Republican party slowly swapped political places, the Democrats heating up the liberal angle and the Republicans, being in power for a long time and getting too settled in, becoming more and more conservative. To say Lincoln = Republican, as if that were the party of today, is juvenile and ignorant, and I sure wish people would stop it.

        2. tom dial Silver badge

          Re: He should be ashamed

          Trampling human rights is not limited to either the Republican party (among US political parties), the US government (among governments), or government wannabes like ISIL, Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, or Shining Path.

      2. Sarah Balfour

        Re: He should be ashamed

        Or the Tories (which, these days, is pretty much the same thing).

    2. Kernel

      Re: He should be ashamed

      You do realize that starring in a movie is just a short-term contract job, not a lifetime commitment to actually be whatever character you've been paid to portray on screen for 2 to 3 hours?

      1. x 7 Silver badge

        Re: He should be ashamed

        can anyone name a movie he's starred in?

        for that matter, can anyone name a movie he's appeared in?

        1. PeterGriffin

          Re: He should be ashamed


          1. x 7 Silver badge

            Re: He should be ashamed


            Never heard of it! Any good?

        2. BongoJoe

          Re: He should be ashamed

          I remember him in AGAINST ALL ODDS and ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA.

          I never have rated him though even though I enjoyed the latter.

  6. BuckeyeB

    Or he could spin this into another Family Guy episode and bank it.

  7. C. P. Cosgrove
    Thumb Down

    ? ? ?

    @ Florida1920

    As I understand it, James Woods is a professional actor, therefore he gets paid to act. It's acting ! You cannot identify the actor with the character otherwise you would have to call any one who played the role of Oscar Wilde a homosexual, or Bruce Willis a cold blooded killer for his role in 'Last Man Standing'.

    And who says you can say anything you want on the internet ? Certainly the British courts don't and an American based forum where I am a moderator doesn't.

    Chris Cosgrove

  8. x 7 Silver badge

    I never realised James Woods was a real person - I always assumed he was a scapegoat character dreamed up by the scriptwriters of "The Simpsons"

    It now appears he is doing his best to emulate the character, Which begs the question: Why did he never sue the producers of "The Simpsons" for denigrating him?

    1. Originone


      I'm guessing he never sued the Simpsons on the advice of his lawyers, I think he'd find it hard to overcome the defense that the Simpsons is clearly satire.

      1. Tom Samplonius

        Re: Satire

        "I'm guessing he never sued the Simpsons on the advice of his lawyers, I think he'd find it hard to overcome the defense that the Simpsons is clearly satire."

        Oh, and that Simpsons is a fictional show, and that the Simpsons are not real? So when James Woods meets that Simpsons, that is not the real James Woods? And the James Wood, the real person, is actually playing James Woods, the Simpsons character?

        The disassociation disorder apparent in many Register readers is frightening. James Wood (the real one), would likely to murdered on any street in the UK, because they saw him play an alien in a movie that evening, so therefore he must be an alien. It would be self defense.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Satire

          I think the legal principle is "You cannot sue a cartoon for libel"

        2. x 7 Silver badge

          Re: Satire

          "James Woods is an alien"

          I'm sure that was proved in one Simpsons episode. Maybe it was an illegal alien? Memory failing me....

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      He didn't want the "Streisand Effect" probably?

  9. Eric O'Brien

    See comment at Popehat

  10. Winkypop Silver badge

    It's OK

    I've never heard of him either.

  11. Tim Worstal

    American libel law's a bit different.

    If someone is a public figure (which I assume a famousish actor would be) then you've got to prove malice as well as untruth. Not quite, not exactly, but that's roughly it.

    If Y is not a public figure then "Y is a coke addict" is libel as a simple statement (assuming, of course, that they're not a coke addict).

    If Y is a famous figure, public person, then "Y is a coke addict" is not prima facie libel, there has to be that addition of the malice for it to be so.

    1. spot

      The malice seems self-evident from the previous tweet content quoted in the article. I'm delighted Mr Woods - of whom I have never before heard - has slapped back, I hope he reaches the originator of the abuse.

      1. Hollerith 1

        One can hope

        I hope that Woods is reasonably successful. The $10m is to scare these jerks. That the internet made it easier for the pond-scum who used to write libellous notes to newspapers as letters to the Editor, or who batch-mailed nasty letters to whole neighbourhoods, to get their nasty giggles to a much more vast audience does not mean that we should simply shrug and say "just ignore it." If the internet is our main street and community, let's keep the creeps from pissing up the walls and throwing dogshit at people.

    2. Sarah Balfour

      Meanwhile, in the UK…

      Claim a Tory peer's a coke-snorter and ya better have the dough for a fucking good brief.

  12. JustNiz

    Interesting the way this article and the legal complaint itself is written. The devil is in the detail. James Woods doesn't like being accused of being a coke addict, and was careful to say he's not and never has been a coke addict.

    Why would he say it that way? Anybody normal would just say they don' t do drugs at all. He's apparently been careful to not actually make that claim, just that he's not an addict (which itself has a very woolly definition).

    ....Which all makes me wonder if the unnamed Twitter trolls may actually have more of a justifiable point than just random name-calling.. which might also explain why Woods is getting so hot under the collar about what superficially appears to be just another internet troll... its actually uncomfortably close to (although not according to his definition of "addict") the real truth.

    1. Sherrie Ludwig

      So, someone who counters a claim with "I do not and never have beaten my spouse" Is automatically suspected of beating their dog? And their children? You have an interesting way of taking statements.

  13. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "Ask all those who have been bullied to death (literally, via suicide, ironcially on Twitter too), does libel exist?"

    Yes it sure does! Not my problem that people don't know their legal options. One person where I work was commenting how some debt collector kept calling even after she told them they had the wrong number -- I was like "That's great news, that's $4,000 per call once you told them this!" She had no idea there were laws regulating the conduct of debt collectors. Same thing with libel. Of course, if someone is being taunted online for stuff that is true, it's not libel.

    Anyway... with that dispatched of.

    First, $10,000,000 sounds like ridiculous damages. Of course, this is California, who knows who's responsible -- if it turns out the responsible party has $100,000,000 then trying to sue them for like $1,000 would have been a joke and not affected their behavior in the least. Generally, they could have the option to find the "John Does" are not wealthy and lower the damages they seek, but not to find out "John Does" ARE wealthy and raise damages later on.

    Second, how can this both be libel and an invasion of privacy? Theoretically (I'm not claiming which is true!!!) If it's libel, it's made up and doesn't indicate anyone looking into his private life in any way whatsoever. If it's invasion of privacy, then presumably the information is true so it is not libel.

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Second, how can this both be libel and an invasion of privacy?

      Are you being silly?

      I can think of several ways.

      Can't you think of one?

  14. x 7 Silver badge

    so whats wrong with being a Coke addict? Would he be upset if he was called a Pepsi addict? All they do is make you fat and rot your teeth. Not really anything to worry about..........unless maybe as a movie star he's worried about rumours concerning his waistline and smile

  15. abubasim


    Long live the new flesh!

    One of my favourite Chronenberg films.

    (Sorry for posting out of topic.)

  16. JoeKrozac


    As other commenters have observed, libel laws do indeed still exist, and those who would pretend otherwise, or try to make excuses for the illegal online actions of others, need to be severely bitch-slapped until they recover whatever common sense and logic that presumably once resided within their craniums.

    I want to see James Woods prevail in this lawsuit, I want that libelous troll 'named and shamed', bankrupted, perhaps even serve some serious jail time for their actions. This isn't any damn "First Amendment" issue, and it's way past time for serious legal retribution to be doled out.

  17. andy gibson

    Family Guy

    He made a number of pretty funny appearances as himself on Family Guy (ooh piece of candy).

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I didn't know James Woods is a coke addict... he?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if making sh*t up is illegal

    then almost all western media owes trillions.

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