“I Will Be Taking Legal Action”

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From top: Dr Brooke Magnanti; Journalist Olaf Tyaransen (left); the late sex workers’ rights activist Laura Lee

Yesterday, Scientist and author Dr Brooke Magnanti published a piece on Medium in which she alleges Hot Press journalist Olaf Tyaransen drugged, sexually assaulted and beat the late Dublin-born sex workers’ rights campaigner Laura Lee.

Mr Tyaransen, who denies the allegations and has promised unspecified legal redress, interviewed Ms Lee at a Dublin hotel in October 2014 for Hot Press magazine, where he serves as a staff writer.

Dr Magnanti claims:

After the interview, Laura told me, Olaf had invited himself back to her room for more chat. And it was there he drugged her, beat her, and sexually assaulted her.

Dr Magnanti includes correspondence with Ms Lee in her post which indicates Ms Lee “gave a statement of evidence” lasting six hours to Gardai at Store Street Station in November 2017.

There was no follow up, Dr Magnanti said, and the investigation ended with Ms Lee’s death on February 9.

Ms Lee, was born in Dublin but lived in Glasgow, Scotland

In October 2017, her campaigning for sex workers rights obtained a judicial review of a new law making it illegal for men to pay for sex in Northern Ireland

Hot Press said yesterday that Mr Tyaransen would be stepping down from the magazine by “mutual agreement” while “he deals with these allegations”.

This evening, Mr Tyaransen sent us the following statement:

“It’s completely untrue. I will be taking legal action. And I’m not letting the bastards grind me down.”

Pic: Rex/Hot Press

Update:

Meanwhile…

92 thoughts on ““I Will Be Taking Legal Action”

  1. Rich Expat

    Despise the guy but this is a bit much. She was a campaigner for sex workers yet when she was attacked and raped by a nobody in the media she never reported it. Now her mate has thrown out this grenade which can never go to court.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      I hope he does, then Laura’s 6 hour interview can be made public. It’s terrible that he can’t be investigated because she’s dead. Investigations into murders/manslaughter/car accidents etc don’t stop because the victim dies.

  2. king Adolf von bratwurst

    he comes across as a bit of an eejit . I don’t see why he had to step down. was a complaint made?

    1. Lilly

      Oh please, you really think she singled poor Olaf out and fabricated this claim? She took photos of the marks on her body. They coincide with the time of her meeting with him. She confided in friends. She made a formal complaint to the Gardai.

      1. qwerty123

        That’s it then? Guilty? No due process, no other side? Crikey, social media is one tough judge, jury and executioner.

        1. Nigel

          Yeah so tough it carries no legal weight whatsoever! But people keep acting as if forming an opinion based on a story was itself some kind of outrageous breach of a legal procedure that doesn’t exist outside of courtroom setting! You’ll find this hard to believe but people were forming opinions like this long before social media!

          1. qwerty123

            Did you read it? It’s more than a opinion. It is slander. No legal weight yes, apart from loss of good name and livelihood, it really is not right. I’m pretty sure you would not like this being written about you.

          2. Nigel

            Unless, of course, the Guards corroborate her assertion that a report was made and an investigation underway, which would put her on firmer ground, and if no report was made that blows the whole thing out of the water. I guess we’ll see.

            (I have no idea what Garda policy is about releasing information like this, though.)

      2. dan

        Who knows? There’s a mental health crisis globally, not just in Ireland – people make stuff up all the time. Not saying that’s what’s happened here, but that’s one of the many reasons we have a judicial process – so someone is not penalised based on conjecture.

  3. Bonjoe

    Magnanti has extensive past form in relation to this, she’s been sued twice for defamation: she lost to her ex-partner in 2013, and she fled back home to Florida last year after she was subject to another one by someone fairly big (might have been Julie Bindel IIRC) to claim this First Amendment protection. If ever there was a bottom feeder in the rumour mill, it’s her: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/substantial-libel-damages-paid-to-former-boyfriend-of-sex-blogger-belle-de-jour-8736501.html

    I think if Tyransen is smart he will focus on the Irish “influencers” who are retweeting the defamatory statements, and adding their own defamatory statements. There is a certain group of Scots and Irish individuals (including a bottom feeding solicitor) associated with Laura Lee who are behind this and got Magnanti to pull the trigger because she believes she’s safe from legal action in the US, but they aren’t.

    That said, if the legal action succeeds it’s impossible to put the genie back in the bottle.

    1. qwerty123

      Exactly, damage already done, guilty or not it doesn’t matter. Broadsheet should take this down based on her history here.

        1. Bodger

          Sorry Dhaughton, Olaf has contributed to Broadsheet over the years and we would regard him as a friend and took no relish in posting. We felt it was our duty not to ignore the story and our responsibility to present it as fairly as possible.

          1. Dan

            It’s not a story though – it’s one persons unsubstantiated claims, someone with a history of making things up.

          2. Lilly

            @Dan – Are you trying to muddy the waters here by creating a composite character of Brooke Magnanti and Laura Lee?

            It’s not working because a) you have failed to establish that Magnanti has a history of making things up and b) you don’t get to airbrush Laura Lee out of the picture just because she’s no longer alive.

    2. Lilly

      @Bonjoe – Do you have a link to anything that backs up your assertion that Magnanti has a history of defamation or ‘extensive past form’ as you put it? She was sued once by an ex-boyfriend whom she counter-sued. Her latest book was panned by Julie Bindel but there are no reports of defamation proceedings between the two.

      1. Bonjoe

        If you take her own murmurings about the Bindel situation at that time (circa a year or two ago), Magnanti herself was going on about potential defamation proceedings over part of the book as a reason for fleeing Scotland. This incident would then make it the third situation where she has either been subject to proceedings or otherwise accused of defamatory statements.

        I know lots of people with big mouths in the D List “writer” pool, but it takes a special kind of reject to have got themselves in the firing line so often. Then (as now) flee the jurisdiction and now hide behind US of A, her native country she previously spurned, as a flag of convenience.

  4. Bernie

    Well said Lilly, Nigel and Frilly. She showed amazing courage in coming forward and making her statement. In doing so and her story being made public by her friend, more girls, women, boys and men will hopefully speak up about alleged sexual crimes committed against them. There are sexual abuse cases in the news weekly, as hard as it is to read them, it is these abuse survivors truth and reality, they live and relive their nightmares daily so tough poo poo querty and people with same view, get used to alleged sexual predators being named and shamed.

  5. gorugeen

    First of all, slander no longer exists in Irish law. It’s defamation. To prove defamation you must demonstrate actual loss.
    We operate our legal system on the basis of innocent until proven otherwise. All citizens are entitled to fair procedure including a fair trial. All the folks retweeting the allegations as fact are giving the potential defense team bucket loads of evidence that their client can’t possibly get a fair trial. This trial by social media is a step way, way too far.

    1. George

      The fact is there was an allegation. There never can be a trial in this case doesn’t mean the truth has to be hidden.

  6. Dermie

    I don’t see Brooks mention the word “allegedly” once in her article and yet some very very strong accusations……

  7. Chris

    Read this article after it caught my eye as I finished skimming over the front pages..now, this is not my area, iv never read hot press, never heard of any of the individuals involved, and I obvs have no idea what exactly happened in that hotel room. I also don’t like wearing ties…which Dr Magnanti appears to somehow link to an increased liklyhood of me being a violent rapist???

    Now I’m not going to try defend the ALLEGED attacker..not because he has an evil sounding name, ..but because I don’t know the truth..and, as she wasn’t in the hotel room either, neither does Dr Magnanti..which is why the tone and wording of her article is totally rediculous..leaving aside legal stuff, it’s just shoddy writing..making statements of fact that she can’t possibly know are fact.

    I also note the following…

    Since when can men just “invite themselves” back to women’s hotel rooms…when did that becone a thing?

    “Drugged”…with what…? What effects did these drugs have..are we talking Rohypnol?…Cocaine?…Calpol? Why not name the drug, or what she suspects it was?

    The photo…”beaten black and blue”..well…while not technically incorrect, i dont think any reasonable person would think that’s the most appropriate way that those injuries could have been described….and, those injuries are simply not consistent with a “beating”..if those bruises in that location are the result of a violent confrontation than an explanation of how they occurred is also required…especially as the injured party could “take care of herself” as Dr Magnanti asserts..

    if Dr Magnanti really wanted to help her friend, she should have written a more balanced article..coz to a neutral like myself, this looks like an evidence free feminist witch hunt..and I would be more inclined to take the side of the accused….

    1. Lilly

      Hi Chris, have you just posted above as Dan? Some tics in your text suggest so.

      The injuries looked severe to me. She said sitting was sore and that they had been administered with a belt.

      Would beaten ‘red raw’ have satisfied you as a description?

        1. Rich Expat

          She was a woman that specialised in S&M. Olaf has his pickings of the Irish feminist twitterati if he wants to sue. The other person can hide in America all she likes.

        2. Lilly

          Apparently she was a dominatrix. That doesn’t mean she couldn’t be attacked. Why beat someone anywhere? Not sure what your point is.

          1. dave

            My point is that there could be another reason for the bruises. Being attacked may be only one possibility..

      1. dan

        Can confirm Chris is not Dan and vice versa. Maybe we both just believe that (shock horror) someone is not automatically guilty of a crime because someone in America said they were in a blog post. Weird, I know! :)

      2. Chris

        Nope, I’m not Dan, and I’m not sure why you’re taking that tone with me..as I said I know nothing about this other than what iv read here..and I simply called it as I saw it..

        My point about the bruising was that it wasn’t consistent with the impact of a first, elbow, knee or foot….however, it could be from a belt..

        But if its from a belt..why didn’t Dr Magnanti include that detail..as it is important and relevent if he is accused of using a weapon during the assault..

        1. realPolithicks

          I don’t get what you’re saying here. Lets say it was a belt, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t assault.

  8. Catherine costelloe

    Its rather bizarre that considering the late Laura worked to protect sex workers that it took her 3 years to go to garda herself.

    1. Lilly

      I imagine it’s impossible to predict how anyone will respond to something as traumatic as sexual violence. It’s hardly like learning karate, is it?

      1. Catherine costelloe

        Laura in 2014 in her texts 19.10.’14
        ” yea,I know who it is . I’m not involving police as it was sexual as well”
        Is she alleging rape? Or it is bruising on her backside that upset her? I dont know frankly from her texts “Was it a client who turned nasty or just some randomer?”
        Laura ” A journalist, that’s why I’m keeping it down”.

      2. Bernie

        @ Catherine, Just because she worked to protect sex workers does not mean that she would be super-human and bullet-proof when she was attacked herself. Can you predict your state of being if you were beaten, defiled, humiliated and treated as though you were nothing? Read some personal accounts of people who have been attacked, sexually assaulted or both, before making these comments, become informed instead of making unhelpful, ignorant contributions.

        Also, men do tend to stick together when the subject of sexual assault / rape is discussed, speaks volumes about their mindsets. Pity their daughters if they are ever in the receiving end of these despicable acts.

        The treatment of sexual assault / rape victims is disgusting, they are the ones that end up on trial and yet people wonder why they often go unreported or are not reported for a long length of time. Educate yourselves and get past this pack mentality.

        1. Catherine costelloe

          Its all 3rd party from Ms Magentis I merely read texts sent by Ms Lee. I see no reference to being drugged , scarce on detail . Rape victims should go to Rape Crisis Centre even if they are unable to go to garda. Every chance vital evidence can be collected and if victim feels stronger in time hopefully evidence gathered could be vital to prosecuting the rapist.

  9. Sfay

    People are so misinformed around false rape allegations- it rarely happens. Rapist walking around free to do it again and again is the norm. Im glad people have been made aware of Laura’s plight and allegations. I choose to believe her. Im so sorry this horrific incident happened. His tweet is vile. “When your uniform is knickers you cant expect respect”

      1. anyone

        Where did sfay say she was going to decide on matters of guilt? She was merely giving her opinions.
        Interesting how there is also a troll dog, as frilly might say, willing to jump down the throat of anyone, especially a female, willing to profess their view on things here.

        1. Frilly Keane

          Before you get yourself inta grief there now anyone
          It was ME who was called the Broadsheet Troll Dog
          No one else

          And it didn’t happen here
          Twas a guerilla ambush on twitter
          From another Columnist and a number of other Broadsheeters, past and present

          Thankfully, Sibling of Daedulus was the only infantry needed
          (As well as the only one that stepped up btw)
          With Fluffy making the tay

          1. anyone

            yea I don’t think you have ownership of the term frillzer

            I’m just borrowing it to apply to this situation

            it seems apt

    1. Frilly Keane

      @sfay

      This.

      It’s shocking he was allowed that opinion so easily and that tweet rested so quietly.

      Whatever ye’re all concluding from this tread and all the attached links

      Here’s sum’ting that’s there’s no disputing;
      Laura knew what to expect from the Guards in 2014
      So do you
      So do I

      And for Hot Press to house such a despicable opinion of working women in their ranks should have had some reactions.

      Christ. T’night.
      Boys and their pals

      And I’m called the cowardly Troll Dog ….
      FFS

        1. Woof Woof Frilly Keane

          Couldn’t tell ya
          But one thing I do know

          If I hosted such a vile condescending tweet about lads and what they wear to work I’d take a hiding

          And most likely from lads around here as it happens

          Bhoys and their pals
          Doesn’t matter who what where there from or what they share it don’t share in common

          When it comes down to it
          They still all stick by each other

          1. anyone

            every single story on here

            every rape victim

            every mickey mouse two bit freeloader looking for column inches

            there’s never not a frillykeane angle

        2. lolly

          not sure Niall Stokes can be expected to monitor every staff member or contributor’s twitter account, he isn’t on twitter himself. also that was OT trying (and failing) to be funny/controversial etc. par for the course for him.
          personally I’m not surprised at all by this story to be honest, just seems (in my opinion) to fit. also the sex column was written by an articulate interesting woman. why shouldn’t there be a sex column?

          1. Lilly

            I wasn’t commenting on the sex column (haven’t read it), although the idea struck me as the ed getting his jollies vicariously in much the same way as the Sindo running voyeuristic pieces about knickerless teens at discos.

          2. Frilly Keane

            @lolly
            Whether the editor knew or not about the tweet is neither here nor dere afaic

            The Editor should have known
            And mainly for business reasons
            As imo
            A tweet like that has the potential to impact the publication
            Well it should have
            With all things being equal n’all
            Sales n’ advertising n’ stuff
            Reputation
            But shur’

            We all know how this goes
            Lads’ll stick by each other

            As the Ulster Boys would say
            Stand up for the Ulster men … Stand up…

    2. Lilly

      Someone should do a study on false rape allegations. I have only ever come across one. It involved a young, immature woman whose boyfriend had broken up with her and not long afterwards become engaged to someone else. Motive? Revenge, I presume. What motive would a mature woman have to falsely accuse a man she scarcely knew of rape? It would make no sense.

      1. dan

        There’s been a few lately covered in the UK press.
        I guess the point isn’t that they are rare (which they are), it’s that they happen at all.
        There are plenty of mentally ill people out there (both genders) who make up stuff for a variety of reasons. Hence due process.

        1. Martco

          +1 Dan

          Lilly I’m sorry to disagree. There’s loads of (to use considerate terminology here) mentally unstable people out there who for whatever reason do manky despicable things to other people. Due process exists for a reason.

          1. Lilly

            Fair enough. I’m not suggesting due process should be bypassed. Ever. I’m just saying in this instance, based on the little I know, I believe her. That belief is of no consequence, but I need to express it. And to offer condolences.

      2. Chris

        Well…watch out for the verdicts in a certain high profile rape trial up North..then you’ll have one to start off with..

        How do i know what the verdict will be before its delivered..

        Evidence

  10. Tom

    I think the way this has been published in America on Medium with no consideration for due process in Ireland is extremely unjust. And if Tyransen came back with a robust denial, saying, basically, here’s what really happened – or here’s as much as I can say while the matter is sub judice – most people would give him a fair hearing. But to be honest, the threat to sue (in America at least) rings very hollow. He’d need a mountain of cash and, even with that, he’d never get anywhere. And the flat, blanket denial has echoes of Trump’s “Fake news” i.e. trying to shut down the conversation without engaging with any of the specifics.

    1. Rich Expat

      He has dozens of Irish SJWs to potentially sue. I’ve already reached out to him and mentioned two that i know have substantial assets. They weren’t just retweeting the story but making their own claims.

  11. david

    Trial of media by media
    After this nugget no trial could take place as its in the public agenda
    Could he receive a fair trial or a jury which has not been influenced especially after the Harvey Weinstein campaign

  12. rotide

    Broadsheet trying to do journalism again.

    Oh well, I’ll just assume this has as much truth to it as the sandy hook shootings being faked and #qanon.

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