Ariadna Jacob v. The New York Times

Case Overview

Founder and CEO of Influences.comAriadna Jacob (@littlemissjacob), hired The Dhillon Law Group (@dhillonlaw) to join her attorney Camara & Sibley LLP, to file a second amended complaint on Oct. 5, 2022 in federal court against Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) and the New York Times (@nytimes).

The new complaint adds new claims and evidence for defamation, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and sworn affidavits by influencers Adam Cohen (@imadamcohen) and Kyle Oreffice, who had direct contact with Lorenz. Some of the new claims include Lorenz doxxing Jacob’s home address and screenshots of conversations with Lorenz that shows her defamatory efforts were intentional and reckless.

“I believe that Ms. Lorenz acted in bad faith by spreading misinformation about Ms. Jacob and Influences unfairly,” Cohen said. “I believe Ms. Lorenz was one of the people who could have originated the negative information that was being spread about Ms. Jacob and not the TikTok creators.”

The lawsuit stems from an Aug. 14, 2020 article authored by Lorenz and published by the Times headlined “Trying to Make It Big Online? Getting Signed Isn’t Everything”, which published several defamatory statements that devastated Jacob’s business and reputation. Lorenz and the Times published their defamatory statements about the plaintiffs even though they had been provided with evidence contradicting the false statements prior to the publishing of the article.

In the weeks before the Times’ article, Jacob and her business had hit its stride, earning multiple major brand deals and positive coverage by ReutersFox Business, and USA Today.

“Lorenz fancies herself to be ‘the Bob Woodward of the TikTok generation.’ Bob Woodward she is not,” said Dhillon Law Group partner, Matthew Sarelson (@MSarelson). “Above all, Lorenz is interested in developing and promoting ‘her own brand.’ She holds herself out as an ‘influencer journalist,’ essentially making her a competitor with the very people she claims to write about. Lorenz does not even attempt to operate within the boundaries of journalistic norms.”

The original complaint, filed in U.S. Southern District of New York, was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos on Sept. 7, 2022, while leaving an opportunity for Jacob to amend and refile by Oct. 5, 2022.

“Two years ago my life’s work was maliciously destroyed by Taylor Lorenz, a dishonest, agenda-driven ‘journalist influencer’ desperate for fame,” Jacob said. “At the time, I was advised that it would be impossible to get justice due to the New York Times’ power and prestige coupled with the fact that I was suddenly professionally radioactive and penniless. I am grateful today because thanks to a group of diligent attorneys, supportive family, friends, and even strangers—my quest for justice, truth, and accountability is still alive. There are millions of young American men and women suffering at the hands of bullies. I hope this challenging journey proves that it is not impossible to stand up for yourself—and prevail.”

The second amended complaint pleads actual damages of over $11.6 million.

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