In a disappointing turn for both Twitter trolls and fans of free speech, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has decided that the anonymous man who called James Woods a cocaine addict on Twitter a few years ago must be identified by his attorney. Woods has been pushing a vicious defamation lawsuit against the man—called “John Doe” up until this point—that has continued despite the man’s death. Now, despite protestations that Woods was just trying to harass the dead man’s family, The Hollywood Reporter says that the judge has agreed with Woods and his attorneys that the man’s death negates any privacy rights he had and that his name is “highly relevant and critical” to the lawsuit.
It doesn’t seem like John Doe’s real name has been released yet, mostly because Woods hasn’t plastered it all over social media so his legion of arch-conservative fans can use the internet to figure out the dead man’s address and the address of any of his loved ones for harassment-related purposes, but it’s probably just a matter of time before that happens. Doe’s attorney tried to prevent this by explaining that it’s a “transparent attempt to abuse the discovery process to exact twisted revenge by harassing Mr. Doe’s family”—which is exactly what it is—and he also pointed out that there’s a history of famous Twitter users guiding their followers to attack people by referencing the collected works of one Donald J. Trump.
Woods’ attorney dismissed that argument by claiming the actor never harassed Doe except when he was defamed by the “cocaine addict” accusation, so it supposedly stands to reason that he would never use the man’s real name as an excuse for further harassment. Of course, for those who don’t recall, Woods responded to the news of Doe’s death by saying that he’d follow him to the “bowels of Hell” and that he hopes the man died “screaming [his] name,” but no, he’d absolutely never go out of his way to harass this guy or his family. Never ever.