A B.C. woman has been ordered to pay $200,000 after she defamed her ex-boyfriend on social media following the pair’s breakup.
According to a B.C. Supreme Court ruling made public this week, Noelle Halcrow made a series of posts on Instagram and other websites about her ex-boyfriend, Brandon Rook, between August 2016 and August 2017.
Rook ended the one-month relationship in August 2015, then got back together less than a year later for six months, only for Rook to again end things in July 2016.
After the splits, Halcrow would post false claims about her ex’s career, personality and sexual health, creating more than 75 posts across the various platforms, with a dozen receiving more than 1,500 views each, according to evidence submitted by Rook’s lawyer.
Halcrow, who did not give any evidence, argued her friends and others had made the posts, not her.
But a tech expert was able to trace several posts back to an IP address linked to the WiFi network in Halcrow’s home. She also texted Rook a number of times about taking down the posts and threatening to put them up again or create further posts.
Rook told the court that the posts caused him to feel anxiety, especially those that referred to his ex-wife and daughter.
Justice Elliott Myers called Halcrow’s campaign “as relentless as it was extensive,” and motivated by malice.
“The evidence is clear and compelling that Ms. Halcrow did, in fact, put the posts on the websites,” he wrote.
He ordered her to pay $175,000 in general damages, $25,000 in aggravated damages, and to cover Rook’s legal fees and the cost of his $30,000 reputation consultants who were hired to take the posts down.
Halcrow is under a court injunction banning her from republishing any of the posts.