Liberty Counsel Accuses Jo-Vanni of Being An Irresistably Cute “Setup” for Rekers

Jim Burroway

May 13th, 2010

The knives are out for Jo-vanni Roman, the Miami-based escort who accompanied disgraced anti-gay activist George Rekers on a ten-day trip to Europe so Roman could “lift Rekers’ luggage” — and provide daily nude massages. As an indication of how important Rekers’ downfall was to the anti-gay establishment, Matt Savers’ Liberty Counsel has agreed to back Rekers’ threat to sue Roman and media outlets for defamation. From this morning’s Washington Times:

Officials at the Liberty Counsel said Wednesday they would back Mr. Rekers if he followed through on his threat this week to sue media outlets and others for trying to discredit him.

“I think [Mr. Rekers] would have a great case to file a defamation action,” said Mathew D. Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel said.

“I think it was a completely arranged setup,” he said, referring to the presence of writers of the free weekly Miami New Times at Miami International Airport when Mr. Rekers and his hired travel companion arrived in the United States April 13.

…The Liberty Counsel’s Mr. Staver said he believes Mr. Rekers’ recent court appearances, in which the professor testified in favor of state bans on gay adoption, became “a major focus of people trying to discredit him as an individual.”

“I think that it’s the classic [tactic], ‘If you can’t destroy the message, you destroy the messenger,’ … and I think this is a personal attack designed to cast aspersions on his character and reputation,” Mr. Staver said.

You see? It’s all Jo-vanni’s fault. The “setup” occurred when Jo-vanni put his irresistible profile onto If he hadn’t have done that, Rekers never would have noticed him among all the other luggage lifters the web site had on offer. Jo-vanni was the only one who could pull this off. See?

Damn Jo-vanni, if being cute were a crime, we’d just have to call you convicted!

Jon Trouten

May 13th, 2010

I really want to see this one go to trial…

Jason D

May 13th, 2010

great case….

to lose money on.

His various PUBLIC statements contradict one another, whereas Lucien’s story is consistent with events as they transpired.

Ben in Oakland

May 13th, 2010

Not to mention…

Rekers may have been “set up”, but he STILL hired a male prostitute.

paul j stein

May 13th, 2010

Sue! Please do. Televise it.Pay per view for GAY and LESBIANS. I would subscribe to that broadcast!

Lindoro Almaviva

May 13th, 2010

I so want this dumb ass to sue and take this to court. I hope this kid doesn’t back down. All this posturing by Reckers deserves someone to push back to see if he is as “dangerous” as he claims to be


May 13th, 2010

Of course it was a set up…it all started with the doctors that did his surgery so that he would need to hire someone to carry his sacks through Europe…

This just keeps getting better and he just keeps fanning the flames! Burn baby burn!

Richard W. Fitch

May 13th, 2010

As much as I would like to see Rekers and Liberty Counsel play out their circus in public view, I still am inclined to believe this is just another frivolous lawsuit which does not need to be added to the burden of an already overloaded judicial system.


May 13th, 2010

“I think [Mr. Rekers] would have a great case to file a defamation action,” said Mathew D. Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel said.

Oh really?

This court case begs to differ.


May 13th, 2010

“If you can’t destroy the message, you destroy the messenger.”

Reads to me like exactly the tactic they’re taking.

Richard Rush

May 13th, 2010

If an “arranged setup” were staged to nab a suspected Islamic terrorist, would Liberty Council be complaining about unfair tactics?


May 13th, 2010

This is ridiculous. It doesn’t even come close to a claim for defamation. This is typical right-wing crap–make a lot of noise, make fancy-sounding statements (“great case for defamation!”) to people who don’t even have the slightest clue what that means, then hope for the best.

Bring it. I’d take Jo-Vanni’s case in a heartbeat (even if he spells his name funny).


May 13th, 2010

This is just pushback. The last thing this outfit wants is the good doctor, being deposed, and under oath, answering questions as to whatever luggage lifters there were in his past.
This threatened lawsuit is DOA. After all, truth is an absolute defense in this type of action.


May 13th, 2010

Please, please, please, please sue. OMG another early birthday present 4 me.

Timothy Kincaid

May 13th, 2010

In a message to The Washington Times, Mr. Rekers noted that since November 2009, gay activist groups have targeted NARTH members to discredit them.

No, we’ve been reporting on NARTH’s lunatics for far longer than that.


May 13th, 2010

Matthew Staver is dean of Falwell’s Liberty University School of Law. His private practice took place primarily in Orlando, Florida. So its quite possible if there is an action, he’d be involved.

I’m not an attorney, just an old news guy fascinated by communication law, but I see two problems here.

First, there is a strong possibility that George Rekers is a public figure. Since New York Times v. Sullivan, public figures have had a tough time suing for defamation. The theory is that robust public debate trumps the rights of an individual who is an actor in that public debate.

“Sullivan” was the police commissioner of Montgomery, Alabama and though he wasn’t even explicitly named, he believed he was held up to ridicule because of an advertisement in the NYT Times that attempted to raise funds to defend Dr. Martin Luther King against a trumped up Alabama perjury indictment.

Rekers was a founder and member of the board of a high profile organization that took an extreme position in an area of great controversy. Much of his income came from expert testimony in widely publicized cases that were extensively written about in the press. In two of these cases he was excoriated for testimony that was worthless and biased. This too was widely reported in the press.

When his activity, most of which he does not deny, became public knowledge, he was further elevated to prominence as the subject of the opening monologues on nearly every late night show, from Colbert to Craig Ferguson.

Should he file a case, that too will be newsworthy, and will have the additional protection that, because it’s litigation, it can be publicly discussed with impunity.

Second, we are now starting to see “he called me queer” cases being thrown out of court on the grounds that an imputation of homosexuality is not defamatory.

So once again, “poor” Mr. Rekers finds himself in the damnedest position. If he sues, the very defense in the case is going to highlight the struggle of a minority to even find a level playing field to argue its oppression against the person fueling that oppression. Rekers will find himself compared with the police commissioner of racist Alabama.

In claiming he’s injured by being called gay, he will unwittingly call his own life’s work into question, because the very injury he’s claiming is one he has spent his professional life fostering.

He’ll serve himself up on a platter for every op-ed writer in the country that needs to fill 14 paragraphs with topical edginess, and they’ll be able to do it under the doctrine of qualified privilege.

Wouldn’t surprise me if he does sue. It’s the worst possible thing a man in his position can do, and he’s never failed to take the worst option before.


May 13th, 2010

There’s already been a court case appealed to the federal level that definitively concluded that calling someone gay (even if it’s false!) is NOT defamation. So it’s a load of baloney.

Ben in Oakland

May 13th, 2010

normally, I’m not a fan of lawsuits, but in this case…

Rekersw sohuld be the father to a boy named SUE!


May 13th, 2010

Yes, Rekers really was tricked into hiring a male prostitute out to get him compared to a male prostitute not out to get him.

Yes, Rekers really was tricked by said male prostitute into receiving nude massages from said male prostitute.

All the while Rekers had no ability to avoid the situation by refusing to hire said male prostitute or rejecting the idea of nude massages.

Yes, Rekers really was duped by the malicious gay agenda. Indeed, the poor man was defenseless in face of the inexorable gay onslaught.

Meanwhile, I also heard the moon really is made out of cheese, that dinosaurs are the result of animals and humans having sex before the Great Flood wiped out such wretched behavior, and that the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale – cheap too!

Mark F.

May 13th, 2010

Yes, any gay defamation lawsuit would be tossed out of court.

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