December 26, 2010

Sinners not Saints

America should call St Kilda Football Club for tips on how to deal with Julian Assange and Wikileaks.  These guys are good at playing the victim and they seem to have better lawyers than US Defence.  If  Assange was up against St Kilda, he'd be in jail and likely convicted by now, if not actually convicted, then certainly paraded in the streets, tarred, feathered and thoroughly vilified. 

Big boys do cry, just ask big boy captain Nick Riewoldt.  Poor baby, he's humiliated and upset at naked photo's - the taking of which he was fully aware and cooperative - his girlfriend and family have been embarrassed and upset.  Nick Riewoldt is 28 years old and apparently so profoundly modest that he's never before been seen naked (well, by anyone except his footy mates, which is not at all mortifying).  Standing about being photographed naked in a hotel room by his team mate must have been an aberration for the delicate Riewoldt.  His sensibilities have been offended by the publication of those photographs on the interwebs.

The girl seeking payback copied the photo's from a PC owned by the St Kilda player with whom she was in a sexual relationship for a short while, when she was just 16 years old.  It may have been a short fling, but it was long enough to fall pregnant twice, once with twins that ended in a miscarriage, and secondly with a baby still born in October this year, or so she claims.  She is now 17 years old and her family has all but disowned her.

To her credit, she has been pristinely honest about her motivation for circulating the naked pictures:  revenge - plain, simple revenge.  I almost wish she had better ammunition going for her than a bunch of uncontroversial naked photos - although via a court order, she has been forced to agreed to destroy all photos of naked St Kilda players in her possession.

It's not as though Riewoldt or his chums were getting blow jobs from puppies (and a big hello to Canberra rugby players!).  I gather they were doing nothing more than standing around sans clothes.  Hardly what you'd call controversial, even if it does seem a little gay that they sleep naked when sharing hotel rooms together and take naked pics of one another.

Last year, and probably to this day, a naked photo of Laura Bingle was passed around the entire country, via the AFL - the same AFL that is currently going  into meltdown over naked pictures of their players.  No one gave a toss about Bingle.  The AFL players sneered, as did the public.  Bingle had not been a cooperative participant in the taking of that photograph.

On the one hand we have the chief of the AFL insisting that they have offered to pay for continued professional counselling for the troubled teenager, on the other we have St Kilda threatening - THREATENING - the 17 year old with legal action to gain a legal financial penalty that they would request be enforced for the next 15 years.

This is obscene.  I can't think of a more blatant case of brutal public bullying in recent times, and yet no one - not a single journalist, certainly not the AFL, and not the players, and not even her family - is defending - or protecting -  her.

Sexually used by a  St Kilda player at the age of 16, pregnant twice (her claim), both conceptions ending sadly (her claim), by the age of 17, and now the bully boys have their lawyers threatening to chase her for money for the next 15 years.

Despicable.  The AFL, and St Kilda in particular, should be deeply ashamed, and so should the public, for not speaking up.

The story is obscene, but not because a few people got to see "Saint Nick" naked.  What a whuz of a man, a pathetic bleating little boy.  He's not threatening to sue Sam Gilbert, the player and team mate who took the photos and saved them to his computer for more than a year, despite being asked to delete them from his camera.  Of course, why Riewoldt and the others didn't have the brains to sit there (naked) and scroll through the shots deleting them from the camera themselves, as soon as they'd been taken, is a question that we can be certain will never be answered.   Too brainless, would seem the obvious explanation.

The major development in the last day or so is that "Saint Nick" will not lose his sponsors over the controversy - so newsworthy it warranted a major headline.  And why on earth would he lose sponsors?  He allowed Gilbert to photograph him naked, nothing else.  Big whoop.

Compared to this lot, Laura Bingle is a shining example of dignity, discretion and intelligence.

Riewoldt, Gilbert and the entire St Kilda football club need to grow up, and to grow a pair - between them.

Sadly, the unnamed 17 year old girl claims to still be in love with low life Sam Gilbert.

She is also, as far as I understand it, the same girl at the centre of the suspension of a senior police officer ... here

She needs help, now, bad, soon.

A teenager in need of help (not off the rails ...) 

Sponsor Linen House backs "Saint Nick Riewoldt"

18 comments:

  1. Solomon6:45 PM

    She needs a good lawyer. Last time I checked Australia has no 'privacy' laws except those that operate to the protect the collection of information by the state (or private sector) about individuals.

    Which is why they are suing her instead for: “..damages and costs for breach of copyright, breach of confidence and also adding claims of deliberate infliction of mental distress and trespass."

    Give me a break.

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  2. Anonymous8:42 PM

    Too brainless - sums it up, but that's footballers for ya.

    j

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  3. Jacob1:11 AM

    Whoah, but dontcha know, the (poor) girl has "issues".

    You know?... Issues!!!!

    . . . unlike those paragons of (non-gay) normality who've used and abused this young woman in between their narcissistic (though apparently "platonic") hotel room antics.

    Sorry (not!) saintly guys, but seriously I reckon you all might be the ones with "issues" requiring professional counselling, if not police investigation.

    Take it on the chin like real men (yep, including the potentially catastrophic loss of sponsorship revenue) and get off this kid's case. She could be the sister or daughter of someone like you SCUMBAGS!

    // rant ends //

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  4. Sol - yes, their lawyers have really gone to town. Just shows that Bingle had crap legal advice last year, compared to the guys St Kilda have working for them. Or perhaps her lawyers didn't think a woman - or a woman 'like her' - could possibly win a case for infliction of mental distress and breach of confidence (the other elements didn't apply in her case).

    I think it's possible they'll tone things down or drop it entirely now that the photo's are off the table for further publications, but that won't matter, they've shown their hand and it's damned ugly.

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  5. Solomon10:52 PM

    It all sounds pretty dubious to me. If she's liable on any of those grounds (which I doubt) it is at the extreme low end of the spectrum.

    Copyright - yeah maybe but a) copyright belongs to Sam Gilbert, who took the photograph, not the AFL. You can't sue for something you don't own. b) No pecuniary interest was affected, so what kind of damages do they expect to get? 15 yrs of debt? No, sorry, at best they should get an injunction to prevent future publication, which they've already got.

    Breach of confidence - she has no relationship of confidentiality with these people. She's not under any duty of confidentiality. She's not disclosing medical records, conversations with a lawyer or priest or revealing business secrets. She owes them nothing, therefore, she can say and do what she likes.

    Infliction of mental distress - why?? These men make their living from their physicality. Are we really to believe that pictures of their physical bodies has caused them any 'mental distress'? I mean really, has that actually happened, as an actual fact? Seems to me like their lawyers are just making things up.

    Trespass - eh?

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  6. Happy new year Sol and happy new decade.

    That's an excellent summary, hence why I think St Kilda will drop any further action. In terms of intimidating a 17 year old, the lawyers did a great job, except that it is, as you note, all rather dubious ... no 17 year old would know that though.

    They could have achieved the same with mediation and asking that she destroy / not publish any more of the photos.

    Mental distress? Saint Nick managed to make it sound as if his world, his girlfriend's world and his parent's world had falling apart, been irreparably damaged ... all because he sleeps naked.

    Credulity was stretched to snapping point the minute Nick baby opened his mouth.

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  7. Solomon6:03 PM

    I seem to recall reading that there was a specific offence for taking/publishing explicit photos of someone without their consent, which should have applied to the Bingle case as I understand it.

    I'm struggling to find it, though I did discover something called the "SUMMARY OFFENCES AMENDMENT (UPSKIRTING) BILL 2007" in Victoria. Are proposed laws meant to be this funny?

    "The definition of device includes a device of any kind capable of being used to facilitate the observation of another person's anal or genital region but does not include spectacles or contact lenses."

    Uh yeah because that issue is really going to come up in a trial.

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  8. Solomon6:41 PM

    Found it! In NSW there is a summary offence called "Filming for indecent purposes".

    "If the photograph involved the person in a state of undress or engaged in a private act, and the photograph was taken for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification the person should instead make a complaint to NSW Police about the criminal offence covered by the Crimes Act 1900."

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  9. I'd guess that both the footballer mate and the 17 year old would argue that they didn't derive any sexual gratification from the taking or viewing or distributing of the photo's Sol.

    Yes, the "upskirting" legislation could have had a little less levity, and, quite frankly, need not have been so specific in an age of video and photographic devices.

    The "filming for indecent purposes" also strikes me as being oddly narrow. It hardly matters if a housemate of an employer has a hidden video set up in bathrooms whether "sexual arousal or gratification" can be established, it's a gross breach of privacy. Motive, I would have thought, becomes irrelevant. The act of filming or photographing without permission is all that matters.

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  10. Solomon7:23 PM

    Yeah the AFL case is different. The girl just seems to have wanted to embarrass Nick and the guy, Sam I think it was, just wanted to umm..

    I have no idea. My brain hurts.

    The NSW law is indeed narrow. There might be some rationale that isn't immediately obvious: I recall when the Henson thing flared up there were concerns raised (by some unseen force) that parents might be liable under child pornography laws for taking photos of their children in the bath. Why anyone would even think to do that is beyond me, but then so are a lot of things lately.

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  11. All parents take photo's of their babies having a bath Sol.

    The Henson case resulted in photography being banned in all sorts of local situations, including school sports, beaches, public parks ... and if not banned, then viewed with such suspicion by attentive members of the public that the pressure is now anti-photography. I guess taking pics of one's own children on a swing or slide is now done surreptitiously, or not at all.

    Yes, we all continue to ponder Sam's motives, and those of the naked players who happily let him take the pics in the first place, even if they did have second thoughts.

    (One ponders how many of them shared the one room. Or were the naked snaps taken over a period of days?)

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  12. Solomon7:46 PM

    I'd consider it a breach of my child's privacy. Also: I'm self-conscious.

    I assumed they took them in order to compare penis sizes with players from other clubs. Nick has a small penis and so wants to sue for defamation, but doesn't want to admit that is his motivation.

    He shouldn't be so concerned. Small penises are beautiful.

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  13. Origami is beautiful too, and just as useless.

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  14. Solomon10:37 PM

    I like origami. I once learned to make a flower.

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  15. With your penis?

    That's pretty clever.

    Maybe that's why the boys from St Kilda were taking naked pics of each other.

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  16. Solomon11:13 PM

    lol no, although you might have some luck with the guys from "puppetry of the penis".

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  17. Anonymous12:28 PM

    Reiwoldt was not involved with the girl at all.
    She was pregnant with twins - not twice - duh.

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  18. Thanks for that Anon.

    Nowhere does it state or imply that Reiwoldt was "involved" with the girl.

    Reports have stated (correctly or not - merely alleged, as IS noted) that the girl fell pregnant more than once.

    Learn how to read and comprehend - duh.

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