By J.B. Handley
There's probably not a lawyer on the planet who wouldn't agree that blogging publicly about a legal proceeding is a bad idea. And, they’d probably be right.
But, Paul Offit is a lying jerk and offends our entire community, so I wanted to bring you along for the ride. Consider this my "public legal journal."
Moreover, I have nothing to hide. Offit lied blatantly in his book, and I'd like a little justice. He did it to try and make me look bad. I think he succeeded, and he had to lie to make it happen. That makes me unhappy. And, it's a pattern from him that we have seen for a long time on many issues related to vaccines and autism.
Someone needs to stand up to this jerk, and I'm happy to do it. As you may have figured out, it's not often I back down from a fight.
Anyway, I found me a great attorney who eats nails for breakfast and believes in truth. He'll remain nameless for now because he didn't sign up to be part of this public journal, but here's a copy of the letter we sent, certified mail, to Dr. Proffit himself and Columbia University Press:
Paul A. Offit, M.D.
c/o Columbia University Press
61 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
Re: Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure by Paul A. Offit, M.D.
I represent J.B. Handley, who is referred in the book Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure. The conversation reported at page 143 of the book never occurred. The writing that the author refers to was in a different time and place.
The creation of that conversation and the juxtaposition of that conversation with Mr. Handley's writing are false, libelous and damaging.
Within ten days you must advise me that the author will write a written apology to Mr. Handley and that you will take out all reference to that conversation in any future printings, or we will explore our legal alternative.
Very truly yours,
* * *
So, there you go. First shot fired. As we all know, the right thing to do is to apologize and make the change to the book. Offit lied. He screwed up in trying a little too hard to make me look bad. He completely fictionalized an exchange that never happened. And, I can prove it. If he does me that simple justice, I'll move on, even though I think damaging my reputation should include compensation.
Oh, and did I mention I found the Rescue Angel mom? The one who was getting mudslinged and prompted my post at EOH that Offit fictionalized into an exchange with Kathleen Seidel? Well, I did. She read my last post, and she found me. The power of AoA!
Did I also mention I already got the response from Offit's lawyer to the above letter? I did. And, it's a doozy. It wasn't very polite nor was it an offer to do the right thing.
I will be printing the whole letter from Offit's attorney on AoA next week.
Stay tuned. (Hey, we're trying to create readership here, after all!)
J.B. Handley is co-founder of Generation Rescue and contributor to Age of Autism.