Woman sued by horror book author claims he sent her sex messages
A woman sued by a horror fiction book author for at least $2.5 million, alleging she defamed him on Twitter in 2021 by falsely saying he sexually harassed more than 20 women, states in an affidavit that he sent her unsolicited messages of a sexual nature.
The woman, Cassie Daley, says that based on her own experiences with plaintiff Matt Hayward, what at least 10 other people have come forward and said about him, and what she has learned from Other sources said she “felt confident – and still does – that Mr. Hayward sent inappropriate sexual messages to at least 20 women.
Daley’s statement was filed as part of his application for leave to file a motion to dismiss Hayward’s lawsuit on freedom of speech grounds. She says she lives in Fair Oaks, Sacramento County and is a “freelance artist and horror book reviewer”, lives on a “tight budget” and posts on a blog, Instagram and Twitter about horror literature. horror as part of a “horror literature community”. enthusiasts and authors.
Hayward’s lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Daley also alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress. Hayward is seeking general and special damages totaling $2.5 million, punitive damages, and an injunction requiring Daley to suppress the statement and not post similar remarks in the future.
“This case concerns the blatant and completely false defamation of a highly respected and beloved author,” the complaint, filed on January 14, states. “Without any basis, defendant Daley said on Twitter that Hayward sexually harassed over 20 women.”
A copy of Daley’s December 8 posting is attached to the complaint.
“The statement is defamatory on its face because it accuses Hayward of unlawful conduct such as sexual harassment,” the suit states. “Daley’s defamatory statement was either known to her to be false or she acted in reckless disregard for the truth and Hayward’s rights when she wrote and published the statement.”
Hayward, who lives in Ireland, suffered loss of business opportunity and damage to her reputation, the lawsuit alleges.
But in his statement filed Thursday, Daley says the statements Hayward maintains as defamatory relate to messages he sent to her in 2019.
“Mr. Hayward was sending me scary sex messages…and he couldn’t help it because I was ‘just incredibly hot’,” Daley says.
Hayward associated his comments with “pseudo-apologies that were really apologies and often contained scarier sexual comments in the same sentence as the apology,” according to Daley.
“These messages were, to say the least, unwelcome and made me very uncomfortable, but I tried to remain civil,” according to Daley.
Daley further says that she later learned that other women had received sexual messages from Hayward, convincing her that speaking out was important.
“I continued to receive messages about Mr. Hayward sending unsolicited sexual messages for some time after that,” Daley said. “In all, at least 10 people have come forward via direct messages on social media, mostly via my old Instagram account.”
Daley also referenced a June 2020 blog post by horror author Brian Keene stating that his wife, Mary SanGiovanni, also received inappropriate messages from Hayward.
“As in my experience, Mr. Hayward excused his behavior by saying he had been intoxicated,” Daley says. “When I found out I was being sued, I got scared and spoke to a parent who is a paralegal in Florida who told me it was important to respond to complaints. I couldn’t pay the application fee for my response so I had to fundraise to be able to pay the fee which was difficult as I couldn’t tell people exactly why I needed the money I didn’t know either plus how I could get to court 400 miles away and with no accommodation in Los Angeles.
Daley’s request for leave to file the motion to dismiss the Hayward case is scheduled to be heard Aug. 9 by Judge Kevin C. Brazile.