Former Walker Campaign Worker Sues Matt Schlapp for Defamation . . . Anonymously

Recently, Matt Schlapp, the head of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), was accused by a former Hershel Walker campaign worker of “aggressively fondling” him during the campaign. The man is described as “a Republican strategist, a male in his late 30s. Schlapp and his wife Mercedes Schlapp have vehemently denied the allegations and raised issues from the man’s past to question his veracity and motivations. Now, the worker has filed a lawsuit alleging four counts battery, defamation (2), and conspiracy. However, it was the anonymous element that stood out in the filing.

The complaint offers details on the alleged encounter which began when the two went to Manuel’s Tavern. It alleges that Schlapp sat “unusually close to Mr. Doe” and bumped against him as they had drinks. In the car, he alleges that Schlapp’s “aggressive fondling of Mr. Doe’s genital area in a sustained fashion proceeded from rudeness and/or lust.”

The Schlapps denied the allegations, published on Jan. 5, 2023, in the Daily Beast story “Herschel Walker Staffer: Matt Schlapp ‘Groped’ My Crotch.” They are accused of launching a counter campaign and Mercedes Schlapp is accused of depicting Doe as a troubled individual who was fired for lying on his resume.  The basis for the allegation against Mercedes Schlapp is her response to neighbors expressing concern for the family in a neighborhood chatroom. She actually said that they would be sticking to the statement written by their lawyers–always a smart move. However, she added a factual claim:

“We have learned that the accuser is a troubled individual. He has been fired from multiple jobs including one firing for lying and lying on his resume. We are sticking to our lawyers statement. With God’s help, we have stayed strong and the girls are amazingly strong.”

That constitutes a factual claim (not opinion) and a publication. Doe categorically denies that he has been ever “fired for lying or lying on his resume.”

The complaint also seems to seek to hold the couple vicariously liable for the statements of what are described as “confederates” but cites one in particular:

50. Confederates of Mr. Schlapp and Ms. Schlapp also joined with them in seeking to impugn Mr. Doe’s reputation. One such confederate, who upon information and belief was acting in concert with Mr. Schlapp and Ms. Schlapp, was Ms. Wren, an organizer of the January 6, 2021 “Stop the Steal” rally that led to the attempted insurrection at the United States Capitol. Ms. Wren posted largely false information about Mr. Doe on Twitter, and peddled that false information to reporters.

51. For instance, on January 11, 2023, Ms. Wren posted on Twitter with respect to a CNN report discussing Mr. Schlapp’s sexual battery of Mr. Doe:

“’the republican strategist alleges’. He’s not a ‘strategist’, he was a 39 yr old volunteer driver who had been fired from multiple campaigns for lying and unethical behavior. @jamiegangor knew this, chose not to report it, and is now reporting her lies on television.”

52. Mr. Doe was not a volunteer driver. Nor was Mr. Doe “fired from multiple campaigns for lying and unethical behavior.” Both statements are false, and the latter statement is false and defamatory.

53. Also on January 11, 2023, Ms. Wren posted on Twitter: “He wasn’t young. He was a 44 year old volunteer driver who has been fired from multiple jobs for being a habitual liar.”

54. Mr. Doe is not 44 years old. He was not a volunteer driver. Nor was Mr. Doe “fired from multiple jobs for being a habitual liar.” All three statements are false, and the latter statement is false and defamatory

Wren, however, is not being sued but her comments are being attributed to the couple as part of this lawsuit.

All of this will now be hashed out in a Virginia courthouse. However, it was the anonymous filing that was a bit curious. After all, Doe is demanding millions in damages for “suffered damages, including without limitation embarrassment, humiliation, distress, and reputational harm.”

Notably, the damages are largely compensatory rather than punitive, meaning that he has suffered millions in losses despite his anonymous status. That includes not just $3,500,000 for the groping (plus $350,000 in punitive damages) but $1,500,000 for the defamation and conspiracy counts (plus the same $350,000 for punitive damages on each count.”

While the Schlapps are named, Doe insists that his identity should be protected under Virginia law. He admits that some have published his name but most have not. What is most notable is that part of the request for anonymity is based on the allegation of a history of threatening violence:

“9. There exist special circumstances such that the need for anonymity outweighs the public’s interest in knowing Mr. Doe’s identity and such need outweighs any prejudice to any other party. Mr. Doe’s anonymity is not intended merely to avoid the annoyance and criticism that may attend litigation. Instead, it is intended to preserve the privacy of the victim of a sexual battery. In addition, because Mr. Schlapp and Ms. Schlapp are well known, and in some quarters revered, amongst a portion of the population that has demonstrated a proclivity for threatening violence against those with whom they disagree, the identification of Mr. Doe poses an unusual risk of retaliatory physical or mental harm to Mr. Doe. Mr. Schlapp and Ms. Schlapp will not suffer any unfairness as a result of Mr. Doe’s anonymity, because they have actual knowledge of Mr. Doe’s identity.

10. Mr. Doe’s identity is known to many persons in the media and the political world, and was further revealed in Twitter posts by Caroline Wren (Ms. Wren”). However, because Mr. Doe was the victim of a sexual battery, his name has not been widely published in the media.”

There is no support offered for that accusation of a history for threatening violence, but court filings are treated as privileged for the purposes of defamation. Otherwise, if false, this could be a basis for a counter defamation claim. (In fact, Schlapp’s counsel is reportedly considered a counter lawsuit, though the specific claims are unknown).

Under Virginia law, it is not clear if this complaint makes a sufficient showing for anonymity, particularly in a case alleging loss of reputation due to being named in the media. Here is the provision:

§ 8.01-15.1. Anonymous plaintiff; motion for identification; factors to be considered by court.

A. In any legal proceeding commenced anonymously, any party may move for an order concerning the propriety of anonymous participation in the proceeding. The trial court may allow maintenance of the proceeding under a pseudonym if the anonymous litigant discharges the burden of showing special circumstances such that the need for anonymity outweighs the public’s interest in knowing the party’s identity and outweighs any prejudice to any other party. The court may consider whether the requested anonymity is intended merely to avoid the annoyance and criticism that may attend any litigation or is to preserve privacy in a sensitive and highly personal matter; whether identification poses a risk of retaliatory physical or mental harm to the requesting party or to innocent nonparties; the ages of the persons whose privacy interests are sought to be protected; whether the action is against a governmental or private party; and the risk of unfairness to other parties if anonymity is maintained.

The reference to a history of threatened violence is clearly designed to trigger one of those conditions. However, this is also a case of great public interest involving an adult accuser who has publicly made highly damaging allegations in the press and has reportedly been identified in some media forums.

The court is allowed to reconsider the anonymity at any stage in the litigation since the law also provided “the issue of the propriety of continued anonymous participation in the proceedings may be raised at any stage of the litigation when circumstances warrant a reconsideration of the issue.”

Here is the complaint: matt-schlapp-complaint-2023-01-17

52 thoughts on “Former Walker Campaign Worker Sues Matt Schlapp for Defamation . . . Anonymously”

  1. ..hope the Judge is astute enough to see the obvious… that this is simply an unethical attempt to get money from SCHLAPP.. God help us all when we eat in these packed cramped DC area hot spots, as bumping tables, chairs, knees, backs, butts, hips, arms, shoulders, etc. is common.. so.. how horrifying to wake up to a lawsuit for an imagined sexual encounter.. where these is no evidence….. Counsel needs to tell he Schlapps to stop freaking out and talking about this as Mr. Anonymous seems to feel he is being defamed… which is ridiculous because how to you defame someone unknown with no identity….

  2. JFK, Monster
    By Timothy Noah

    “I knew that John F. Kennedy was a compulsive, even pathological adulterer, given to taking outlandish risks after he entered the White House. I knew he treated women like whores. And I knew he had more than a few issues with his father about toughness and manliness and all that. But before I read in the newspaper that Mimi Alford’s just-released memoir, Once Upon A Secret: My Affair With President John F. Kennedy And Its Aftermath, described giving Dave Powers a blow job at JFK’s request and in his presence, I didn’t know that Kennedy had an appetite for subjecting those close to him to extreme humiliation.”

    “Clinton pays Paula Jones $850,000”
    Associated Press
    Wed 13 Jan 1999 13.15 EST

    “WASHINGTON (AP) – Paula Jones is awaiting the arrival of an $850,000 cheque from President Clinton, bringing an official end to the four-year saga spurred by her allegations of sexual harassment.”

    “FDR and His Women”

    “… she was deeply wounded to discover that Franklin had been having an affair with her secretary, Lucy Mercer.”

    Bill Clinton as enabled by Hillary Clinton
    1. Eileen Wellstone (1969) Allegation: Sexual assault
    2. Anonymous female student at Yale University (1972) Allegation: Sexual assault
    3. Anonymous female student at the University of Arkansas (1974) Allegation: Sexual assault
    4. Anonymous female lawyer (1977) Allegation: Sexual assault
    5. Juanita Broaddrick (1978) Allegation: Rape
    6. Carolyn Moffet (1979) Allegation: Sexual assault
    7. Elizabeth Ward (1983) Allegation: Unclear
    8. Sally Perdue (1983) Allegation: Unclear
    9. Paula Jones (1991) Allegation: Sexual harassment
    10. Sandra Allen James (1991) Allegation: Sexual assault
    11. Christy Zercher (1992) Allegation: Sexual assault
    12. Kathleen Willey (1993) Allegation: Sexual assault

    1. The Adulterous Love Life Of Martin Luther King Jr.
      King had many lady friends across the United States

      Old dating advice says: “Lead men and women will follow.” Martin Luther King Jr. was definitely a charismatic leader and definitely, lots of ladies admired him beyond his rhetorical skills.
      Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t a saint. He was a human. King was an extraordinary human with lots of human mistakes. There is no need to avoid discussion of his mistakes and weaknesses. One such weakness was his love for beautiful women. He had mistresses all over the United States: in New York, Los Angeles, Louisville,… For Martin Luther King Jr. having sex was a form of anxiety reduction. Even the night before his assassination on April 4, 1968, he spent the night with an unknown woman in his hotel room. After he was shot and taken to the hospital, King’s staff forbid the woman to accompany him in order not to tarnish his reputation.

      “All understood and believed in the biblical prohibition against sex outside marriage. It was just that he had a particularly difficult time with that temptation.”

      — Ralph Abernathy, a close friend of King

      Tapes of King having sex with an unknown woman were sent to his wife. The reports about King’s extramarital affairs were regularly delivered to the media and King’s funders. Allegations were that King took part in group sex and that he fathered a child with one of his mistresses. King met his wife Coretta Scott (1927–2006) through a mutual friend in 1952. They married on June 18, 1953, and had four children. Coretta knew about King’s extramarital affairs, yet she accepted them, at least in the statements to the public.

      “All that other business just doesn’t have a place in the very high-level relationship we enjoyed.”

      — Coretta Scott King

      An audio recording of King having sex was sent to the King’s home address, knowing Coretta Scott was opening King’s mail when her husband was away.

      “I couldn’t make much out of it, it was just a lot of mumbo-jumbo.”

      — Coretta Scott King upon listening to alleged King’s sex tape

      – Peter Preskar

    2. FYI:

      More Info on the 11/3/2020 Coup against the US Citizen’s govt. What were the communications between Pelosi, McConnell, Gen Milley, Wray, AG Barr, CJ John Roberts which I heard that Twitter shows he had something like links to ……? I’ll wait on that.

      Point being what were all those Coup Plotters doing?


      MORE EVIDENCE: FOIA Requests Reveal There Were No DOJ Investigations on Election Fraud After 2020 Election as Bill Barr Claimed
      By Jim Hoft
      Published January 18, 2023 at 11:27am

      1. Barr was either complicit or oblivious to the unconstitutional nonsense that his OWN people were doing as evidenced by the Twitter files.

        I suspect Oblivious. Barr constantly says Trump got a raw deal with RussiaGate and that what occured was wrong and illegal.

        Yet, he was unable to grasp that because no one was really punished, it continued WHILE HE WAS AG.

        Why exactly do you beleive the people who pulled the RussiaGate nonsense would not cheat in an election ?
        Why exactly do you beleive the people in government who illegally corrodinated to rig the 2020 election via censorship would not also commit ballot harvesting and election fraud ?
        Why exactly do you beleive the people who pulled the covid nonsense to gut election laws would not commit ballot fraud ?
        Why exactly do you beleive the people who lied repeatedly about Covid and censored anyone who disagreed would not commit fraud ?

        And on and on and on.

  3. Note the constant psyop in many quarters of not very important issues that distract from major issues.

    IE: FAA relaxes standards for airline pilot’s EKGs so pilots can still fly after their mandatory mRNA jab. Note the wealthy are only hire Un-jabbed pilots. Lowering the standards so minorities qualify. Talk about something minorities should be pissed about.

    The daily creep of the US FRS/global banking trash transferring the Western Govts to a CBDC cashless digital tracking/ custody economic system of slavery along with a social credit score & an attached Medical Tyranny. Think Commie China’s system.

    The complete centralized control of things like food & energy.

    The near complete collapse of the US judicial system. IE: J6 trials before Brady material released to the defendants that are being denied basic Civil Rights, etc..

  4. There is no support offered for that accusation of a history for threatening violence, but court filings are treated as privileged for the purposes of defamation. Otherwise, if false, this could be a basis for a counter defamation claim.

    No, it couldn’t. The accusation is that “a portion of the population that has demonstrated a proclivity for threatening violence against those with whom they disagree”. No specific individual, just “a portion of the population”.

    Even if it were more specific than that, so that we could identify individuals who were part of that “portion”, it still wouldn’t be actionable because there are surely more than 25 such individuals, and US law does not recognize the concept of group defamation. In the USA you can say whatever you like about groups larger than 25, with complete impunity.

  5. I’m not going to jump to a conclusion about something with such a paucity of information. It sounds strange all around but sometimes the truth can seem strange. With the way suits are filed these days and with denial statements sometimes causing expansion of the complaints. I agree it’s the best to talk through your attorneys. Sometimes I think the absurdity or outrageousness of a suit is put out to actually elicit an emotional response for exactly the purpose of of expanding the suit, similar to Stormy Daniels suing President Trump because of a denial of of her claims which he characterized as lying. Lying is subjective on too many occasions and is often a sign of the “truth” or point of view of one person vis a vis another. I would not be a good juror in a “lying” trial.
    Interview over 100,000 people over 37 years and one hears innumerable varieties of “truth” or “lying”.

  6. Two points. 1) If the Complaint represents the world-view of John Doe, he is not the Republican party worker, as he claims (P. 12). He says: “Much of the reporting on and user comments regarding the reporting pointed out that Mr. Schlapp and Ms. Schlapp had made virulently anti-homosexual comments in the past, and accordingly painted them as the past.” (P. 44) Later he describes Ms. Wren as a “confederate” (P 52), a sub-rosa reference to the Old South. In that same paragraph he describes her as “an organizer of the January 6, 2021 ‘Stop the Steal’ rally that led to the attempted insurrection at the United States Capitol.” Hardly any Republican views the events of 1/6/21 in that way. And, as noted by JT, he says (P. 9) that he needs the protection of anonymity b/c “In addition, because Mr. Schlapp and Ms. Schlapp are well known, and in some quarters revered, amongst a portion of the population that has demonstrated a proclivity for threatening violence against those with whom they disagree,” This is Hillary Clinton material. Slyly, the assertion that Schlapp is “revered” paints a picture of Republicans as sheep. No, this Complaint was written by a hard-core leftist, with an eye on its effect in the media. 2) There appears to be growing acceptability ior even appeal of anonymity. Micheal Kinsley once wrote a newspaper column pointing out that modern journalists prefer quoting someone anonymously to quoting them by name. It may also be more than a coincidence that the Bolshevik leaders used psuedonyms throughout their lives: Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, etc. Hiding your identity, or being able to create a new identity, is a kind of power.

    1. “Hardly any Republican views the events of 1/6/21 in that way.”

      Some Republicans clearly do see it that way, including Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, and George Conway.

          1. They are not registered with the Republican Party. Nobody is. At most they are registered with their state or local election boards as being eligible to vote in Republican primaries. The Republican Party has no connection with such registrations, no control over them, and it is extremely common for people to register to vote in the primaries of a party they never vote for, do not identify with, and whose political positions they do not support.

      1. As Edward Said – Hardly any,

        Regardless, you can have Chenney. Kinzinger and Conway.

        PLEASE Take them.

        The Wisest thing that Republicans have done is separate themselves from Neo Cons.

        If Democrats wish to be the War Party – go for it. All Yours Baby.

        Oddly it was not so long ago that Democrats thought Chenney and the war hawks were evil.

        It is telling that those of you on the left are embracing these people.

        Please Take them. You can have them.

        I will be happy to trade you Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, and George Conway for Manchin, Sienama, and Gabbard,
        Or any of the myriads of other rational democrats increasingly disillusioned with the left.

        1. “As Edward Said – Hardly any,”

          In a recent poll of Republican voters, 3% said that they’d choose Cheney for President. 3% of registered Republicans is over 1 million people. You may call 1 million “hardly any,” but I don’t.

          “It is telling that those of you on the left are embracing these people.”

          I don’t embrace any of them. I simply noted the fact that all 3 view 1/6 as an attempted self-coup (which is true as long as that’s how they see it, regardless of whether you agree that that’s what it was). I can note facts about Trump, too, without embracing him either. Truly bizarre that you don’t recognize that.

          1. I am sure you can get 3% of voters in a poll to say they would pick Attila the Hun.
            3 people out of 100 is Hardly any.

            That means 97 out of 100 republicans WOULD NOT.

            I’ll bet that more democrats would vote for Chenney that Republicans.

            Regardless, YOU CAN HAVE HER, and Kinzinger, and Conway.

            If you want the poster child for the Iraq lies, for the Partiot Act, for spying on americans – PLEASE TAKE HER !

            I am ecstatic that Republicans have rejected her.
            That she has F’d herself.

            Liz Chenney was single handedly responsible for torpedoing multiple efforts to repeal, or flush all or part of the Patriot act.

            If you want to own that – Go for it.

            I am REALLY Happy that the GOP is increasingly NOT the Party of WAR.
            That we are past the Bush/Chenney nation building which Bush PROMISED he would not do in the 2000 election.

            1. Learn the difference between percentages and absolute #s. Two fractions may correspond to the same percentage while representing very different absolute #s. I’m talking about the latter, no matter how many times you attempt to substitute the former.

              Over 1 million is not “hardly any,” and I invite you to test your conjecture about Attila the Hun. In the same survey, several other Republicans — including Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz, Greg Abbott, Mike Pompeo and Tim Scott — did worse than Cheney. Glen Youngkin got 0%, which is what I expect Attila the Hun would get.

              I don’t want any of the 3, or any of the rest of those who were asked about. I disagree with most of their politics.

              1. 3% is hardly any.

                In a nation of 350M people – hardly any can still be alot of people.
                Your odds of meeting one on the street are quite low.

                I have zero problems with numbers of any form.
                You clearly do.

                Regardless, I am not a republican. But the fact that the GOP has made her PNG makes the Republican Party far more attractive to libertarians such as myself.

                “Give me your Gabbard’s, your Sienema’s,
                Your huddled Manchin’s yearning to breathe free,
                The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
                Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
                I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

                You can have Chenney, Kinzinger, and Conway and good riddance.

        1. I don’t know the names of most of the 1+ million who agree with them. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  7. So does Tryanny Joe now have to return Schlapp’s $50 bucks Schlapp may have paid for the BJ?

    I’m not a fan of Schlapp, but this seems just another political hit job, projection of what the other side has been doing & Lawfare meant to wear down the opposition.

    It shouldn’t take long to see if the judge kicks it out.

  8. Drag a $100 bill through a trailer camp and there’s no telling what you will find.

    -James Carville

    1. You can always count on Carville for a great quip. How could we possibly forget Paula Jones, or more to the point, how Slick Willie impaired his wife’s campaign in 2016 and the world got to know Donald John Trump.

      1. Anonymous – No, nor did she sue Biden or go the press, out of respect for Biden, she says. But it appears that she filed a complaint about harassment (although not specifically sexual harassment) with her superiors in Biden’s office. The filing of the complaint was confirmed by friends and relatives, per Ryan Grim. If the report survives, it would apparently be with Biden;s records at the University of Delaware. But the University and Biden refuse to allow access to those records.

      2. Reade may be lying (though there is substantial circumstantial evidence that she is not), but Biden and his defenders should be estopped from claiming so. By their own standards, which they loudly proclaimed when attacking other people, they have no right to question her accusation. So they can’t now turn around and do that. I don’t really care whether he’s actually guilty; as far as I’m concerned he must be convicted whether he’s guilty or not, because he is barred from using the only available defense.

        1. “I don’t really care whether he’s actually guilty”

          That you don’t care whether a woman was assaulted speaks poorly of you.

          1. Whether the assault happened is not my business. Why should I care about it? I have no responsibility to do anything about it, it does not affect me in any way, so let the truth be whatever it is. What concerns me is that there is this accusation, which by Biden’s own words and actions must be treated as true regardless of whether it really is. He is morally estopped from denying it, and should be legally estopped too.

            1. “Whether the assault happened is not my business.”

              I think crimes ARE society’s business.

              Yet another way in which our opinions differ.

                  1. But we are not “society”. Whether a crime was committed does not affect us in any way. There is nothing we ought to do differently depending on whether it was committed. Therefore it’s none of our business.

  9. I am not surprised that this case emanated from the campaign of Hershal Walker. A great football player and a seemingly nice gentleman, Walker was not a suitable candidate for the US Senate and the voters of GA saw this despite his fame and their love for his great career in football. The Sunday morning befpre the election, Walker appeared on FNC’s Maria Barteromo’s show and Maria asked him how he planned to address inflation. He rambled on about his campaign and some irrelevant issues and never even came clase to answering the question posed. Surely a candidate appearing on TV that close to an election should have had a bevy of answers ready for the potential questions – including one specifically addressing inflation. Walker’s campaign likely cut corners with marginal workers like Mr. Anonymouse out for themselves and not the candidate. There clearly are some “facts” here, as Turkey describes them, that can be established through hard evidence and they will hold considerable weight if this case ever proceeds to a trial. The Schlapps should know that a settlement of any sort to mke this guy go away will be seen by the public as an Alford plea and they, like the anonymous complainant, will find themselves permanently in the political dumpster. The public like a good fight and rewards the winner accordingly. Losers and settlers are banished forever.

  10. Who knows what the real truth is. If I had to lay odds, I would go with the Schlapps. Lawyers do what lawyers do, they lie. Like a lot. Many of them never stop lying. They could quite literally ruin this guy’s life, and the accuser walks off scot-free?

  11. This “anonymous” man sounds like a troubled individual banking on the fact that the US media and citizenry has started to believe it’s what you “feel” that is the truth and that can be exploited for monetary gain or power. This concept is the key element of Democrat politics. People “felt” Joe Biden was honest and decent, when the facts, revealed by his personal wealth garnered through government was more likely from nefarious sources. Then Hunter’s laptop and the extortion and Biden’s sale of the US government access showed us the truth – the family is corrupt.

    1. So according to you, the only women that Harvey Weinstein raped were the ones who filed police reports?

      Lots of people choose not to file police reports after being assaulted.

        1. BTW, this isn’t the first time that you’ve made a false claim about me but were too cowardly to own up to it.

      1. And the authors know this how? How did they verify that these supposed unreported rapes actually happened? For that matter do they seriously believe that all the reported rapes happened?!

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