This should serve as a notice to those who think they can post whatever they want on the Internet without fear of retribution.
On Friday, a report came out that ex-Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has filed a lawsuit with the British Columbia Supreme Court alleging defamation over various internet outlets. The internet posters claim that Burke, a current part-time scout with the Anaheim Ducks, had cheated on his wife with Hazel Mae, a reporter for Sportsnet and fathered her child. The lawsuit doesn’t name the internet posters by their first and last names, but instead referred to those allegedly responsible by their online handles/nicknames.
The alleged defamation took place after Burke was fired by the Maple Leafs this past January. The various mediums the posters used included e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, and online message boards. They accused are believed to be from Canada and the United States, which adds another wrinkle to this story. Burke claims that the messages have not only damaged his reputation, but they've also caused distress to his entire family.
You can say what you want about someone’s professional actions and effectiveness, but it’s something completely different to spread blatant lies about them. Next time, it would be wise to have concrete evidence before accusing someone of doing something as egregious as cheating on their spouse.
This is going to be a developing story, so make sure you keep checking back for updates.
S/T to Pro Hockey Talk for obtaining a copy of the lawsuit filed in court.