• damientfisher

“DaVinci Code” author Dan Brown settled the $150 million lawsuit by his ex-wife, Blythe Brown, over accusations he hid assets during the couple’s 2018 divorce, according to court records.

The couple filed a motion in Rockingham Superior Court on Monday to have the lawsuit dismissed. This motion comes two weeks after the couple signaled they were negotiating a settlement, according to court records. The details of the settlement are not public.

Blythe Brown brought the lawsuit this year, demanding $150 million she said her husband owed her. Blythe Brown claimed her husband hid deals for books and movies, and assets like racing horses.

“Dan has lived a proverbial life of lies for at least the past six years, seeming to be the epitome of a world-famous novelist leading a simple life in his home state of New Hampshire, while in reality he was something quite different,” the original lawsuit states. “For years, Dan has secretly removed substantial funds from his and Blythe’s hard-earned marital assets to conduct sordid, extra-marital affairs with women—one half his age—and to pursue a clandestine life.”

The couple married in 1997, and Blythe Brown claimed she was instrumental in supporting her husband’s writing. She even did research for his best-selling break-out novel, “The Da Vinci Code.” The marriage ended in 2018, with that case being heard in the Portsmouth Family Court.

Blythe Brown’s lawsuit claimed Dan Brown hid a television project based on his Da Vinci Code characters, more deals for more books in the Da Vinci-verse, and a children’s book.

In addition to the book and T.V. deals, Dan Brown hid his purchase of two Frisian horses, named Da Vinci and LimiTed Edition, according to court records. Dan Brown had previously tried to claim he bought the horses for Blythe Brown, then he claimed they were for his girlfriend known as JP in the lawsuit. But Blythe Brown’s lawsuit stated the author always planned to keep the horses for himself.

“The documents show that Defendant continued to assert ownership over the horses and that he not only did not gift” them to JP, but that he affirmatively did not want JP to own them,” a recent motion to produce documents state.

In fact, Dan Brown states in an email seeking a receipt for the horses that he is the owner, and not JP or Blythe Brown, according to court records.

“Normally, the decision on a horse’s name is the sole right of the new owner, and I feel his naming is my decision alone as his owner,” Dan Brown wrote, according to the motion to produce documents.

British tabloids have identified JP as Dutch horse trainer Judith Pietersen, who posted photos of herself with the Brown’s and the horses in question to her social media. Pietersen reportedly lived with the Brown’s for a time at their New Hampshire home.

Image from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TEfnncv-nU

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  • damientfisher

Booze and heavy doses of right-wing misinformation pushed Navy veteran Ryder Winegar to call members of Congress last year, threatening rape and murder them if they did not support President Donald Trump.

Now Winegar's going to prison.

Winegar's attorney, Charles Keefe, told the court this week his client regrets his actions and now rejects the ideology that led him to prison.

“After months of becoming caught up in ultra-conservative news-outlet information, and allowing himself to be indoctrinated with a dogma spewed by the former president and his followers, Ryder’s depression and anxiety found an outlet,” Keefe wrote. “Fueled by his intoxication, Ryder proceeded to leave a series of disgusting, racist, and threatening voicemails for six members of Congress regarding the results of the 2020 presidential election.”

Keefe asked the court to give the 35-year-old a sentence of time served. He's been jailed since his arrest last year. John Farley, the acting United States Attorney for New Hampshire, wanted the 33-months in prison Winegar got, saying his threats were part of former President Donald Trump’s overall movement to upend the 2020 election.

“Add it all up, this is serious conduct that was intended to disrupt the functioning of government at the highest levels and warrants the imposition of a sentence that reflects the gravity of the offenses,” Farley wrote.

On the night of Dec. 15, Winegar downed a six-pack of beer, two bottles of sake, and a few tumblers of tequila before he called six members of Congress and threatened to kill them if they did not support Trump's efforts to stay in office after his loss to President Joe Biden.

The members of Congress are not identified in the court records. Winegar made calls to offices in D.C. after midnight, and left voicemail messages for the Congress members. He also left his name and phone number on many of the messages.

One of the messages Winegar left is a typical example:

“Hey, Greg, I got some advice for you. Here's the advice, Donald Trump is your president. If you don't get behind him, we're going to hang you until you die. Uh there's there's no other option. You, there's two roads right now. You can come, you can keep being a shill for the Chinese communist party. And you know, like the, uh, the Jewish banking cartel, or you can stand up and do the right thing and back America's president Donald Trump. Support freedom. Fuck this coronavirus faggoty nonsense. Or you can continue being a nigger with the rest of your democratic faggot pomp and faggot communist comrades. And you're going to hang alongside of him. That goes for all you aides too. You think I'm just an aide, I'm not going to be hung. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. You're right. You're not going to be hung, we're just going to execute you summarily because you're not worth televising. Okay. So fuck you, you pieces of shit.”

Days before he called and left the threats, Winegar also emailed threats to a New Hampshire state representative, according to court records.

When Capitol police investigators went to Winegar’s home in Amherst to talk about the phone calls, Winegar reportedly told them to get off his property. The next day his wife drove him to Boston’s Logan Airport where he boarded a flight to Brazil, according to court records. He stayed out of the country until he was convinced to come home, at which point he was arrested at the airport.

Investigators searched his home and found an AR-15 rifle loaded with light armor-piercing ammunition, a loaded shotgun, a loaded 9mm pistol, an unloaded rifle with a scope, several hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and a body armor vest, with clips and Level IV body armor plates.

Winegar pleaded guilty to all charges in August. Keefe wrote that Winegar’s 10 months in jail is the longest stretch of time he’s been sober since he was 12. Alcohol and marijuana use played a key role in his crimes, as does childhood trauma, Keefe wrote.

“As well, his actions derived from an alcohol-fueled form of political hysteria that he now renounces. It is very likely that Ryder’s actions in this case, and the mindset that allowed him to commit these offenses, is connected to the instability and unusual influences of his childhood,” Keefe wrote.

Winegar grew up in the Church of Scientology, which was founded by pulp writer L. Ron Hubbard. It teaches belief in alien lifeforms that inhabit the human body and are the cause of all emotional problems, as well as belief in past lives, and a sci-fi infused history of the earth. Scientology also prohibits followers from seeking mental health treatments.

“The Church of Scientology has been described by government inquiries, international parliamentary bodies, scholars, law lords, and numerous superior court judgements as both a dangerous cult and a manipulative profit-making business,” Keefe wrote.

Winegar found structure in the Navy, and excelled at learning languages, according to Keefe. He was honorably discharged but had trouble adapting back to civilian life. He stopped taking medications like Zoloft, and started heavy use of alcohol and marijuana leading up to the 2020 presidential election, according to Keefe. As part of the sentence, Winegar will pay a $15,000 fine.

“Today’s sentencing sends a clear message that threats of violence have no place in our political discourse,” Farley said in a statement. “While all citizens are free to express their political opinions, it is unlawful to threaten to commit acts of violence against members of Congress or members of the state legislature. This defendant’s graphic threats were a troubling attempt to intimidate lawmakers and a direct assault on the functioning of our constitutional system. This sentence should send a message to the community that those who threaten to commit acts of violence against duly-elected legislators will be held accountable for their unlawful conduct.”

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  • damientfisher

Crying Nazi Christopher Cantwell was found liable on Tuesday by a Virginia jury for his role in organizing the deadly Unite the Right rally.

Cantwell, 40, a former talk radio host, current convict, and occasional FBI informant, now owes $500,000 in damages.

Cantwell is one of about two-dozen right-wing and white supremacist defendants found liable in the lawsuit brought by Charlottesville residents under the Ku Klux Klan Act. The lawsuit claims Cantwell and white supremacists Richard Spencer, Andrew Anglin and Jason Kessler, as well as groups like the League of the South, the National Socialist Movement, conspired to cause violence at the rally.

The jury found the individuals and groups did conspire. The individual defendants are all ordered to pay $500,000 each, and the organizations are ordered to pay $1 million each.

The Unite the Right rally over the weekend of August 11 and 12 in 2017 saw white supremacists and neo-nazis from across the country converge on the college town. The lawsuit states the intent was to terrorize the people in the town and commit acts of violence while national media was watching.

One of the defendants, James Alex Fields Jr., drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters, killing Heather Heyer. Fields pleaded guilty and is currently serving a life sentence.

The Unite the Right rally saw tiki-torch wielding Nazi’s descend on Charlottesville for days of chaos and violence, with the Nazi’s chanting about “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us.”

Cantwell was convicted of assault in 2018 for pepper spraying counter protesters during the rally and he was sentenced to never return to Virginia as a result.

His extreme, on the record, hate of Jews is cited in the lawsuit.

“Cantwell has stated that he ‘realized that [Jewish people] were responsible for the communism,’ and decided, ‘let’s fucking gas the kikes and have a race war,’” the lawsuit states. “He has written: “I think chemical and biological weapons can do a great deal of good for mankind. Releasing nerve gas or some kind of lethal virus into a left wing protest could prepare the bodies for physical removal without making a big scene for the cameras or destroying anything of value.’”

Cantwell was convicted last year in New Hampshire on one count of transmitting extortionate communications and one count of threatening to injure person or property for his harassment of members of the hate group, Bowl Patrol.

Cantwell is currently appealing that conviction, claiming that the government improperly used an audio recording he supplied to the FBI in which he discusses possibly killing Ben Lambert/Cheddar Mane with his ex-fiancee Katelyn “Peach” Fry.

Cantwell was first jailed in January of 2020 when FBI agents arrested him at his home in Keene on charges he threatened Ben Lambert, the white supremacist known online as Cheddar Mane, over the identity of a third white supremacist, Vic Mackey.

Lambert/Cheddar Mane is a member of the hate group The Bowl Patrol, named for the hair cut of racist mass murderer Dylan Roof, whom members of The Bowl Patrol idolize in the online forums.

Cantwell and his white supremacist internet radio show, Radical Agenda, ran afoul of The Bowl Patrol, leading to the group’s members to prank call Cantwell’s show and otherwise harass him online. Cantwell responded by threatening to rape Cheddar Mane/Lambert's wife and call child protective services if Cheddar Mane/Lambert did not give up the real identity Vic Mackey, one of The Bowl Patrol leaders.

“So if you don’t want me to come and (expletive) your wife in front of your kids, then you should make yourself scarce[.] Give me Vic, it’s your only out.” Cantwell wrote. “Get a (expletive) life or you will lose the one you have,” Cantwell wrote to the alleged victim, according to the new indictments. “you’re the one who is going to suffer cause you’re the one I can get.”

Mackey has subsequently been publicly outed as Sacramento, California resident Andrew Casarez. According to J Weekly, the Jewish News of Northern California, Casarez lives in the suburb of Orangevale with his parents and grandmother.

Cantwell is appealing the Cheddar Mane verdict, but he has sought numerous deadline extensions to file the brief in the First Circuit Court of Appeals, in part, because of the Charlottesville lawsuit.

Cantwell first moved to Keene as part of the libertarian Free State Project, and he was a visible member of the Free Keene group. Free Keene distanced from Cantwell when he started espousing racism and violence.

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