#MeToo has rich men wary of extortion
New York City men are protecting themselves from the dark side of the #MeToo movement, including an upswing in false accusations and blackmail, lawyers and private eyes say.
One young technology exec said he has six Nest cams installed inside his swanky downtown condo to “document and provide corroboration for what’s happening in my private life.”
“It’s an insurance policy,” he said.
When he recently brought home a date and realized she was highly intoxicated, he turned to one of the cams and called her a ride home.
“I tried to keep the interaction fully within views of the camera before calling her a Lyft,” he said.
“Rich men are not the victims, but we may be the targets.”
Private investigator Herman Weisberg agrees, saying he has seen an increase in extortion cases since #MeToo gained widespread attention last year.
“Since October, I’ve gotten about 25 cases of solid extortion threats,” said Weisberg, managing director of Sage Intelligence Group.
Weisberg says it has become a common tactic for extorters to e-mail a man with whom they have had relations and demand an apology in writing.
“They claim that their therapist says that’s the important first step,” Weisberg said.
“Let’s just say a high-powered person writes an e-mail back and says, ‘Wow, I’m really sorry you feel that way, and I’m sorry if I did anything,’ they are basically admitting wrongdoing, whether or not they even know what they are apologizing for.”
Weisberg said he considers it a red flag when an accuser seeks money directly from the accused or threatens to go public on social media.
“If you’re going to do it, do it — go on social media. But don’t threaten the person in advance . . . That’s what we call in the business a ‘cash grab.’ ”
Well, I would say, if a crime has been committed, you should file a police report, and have an investigation.
This "trial by facebook" is bullshit, and will eventually come back to haunt women who engage in it, and maybe it already has.
On edge over the wave of sexual-misconduct allegations against prominent figures, professional men in New York say they have been avoiding evening outings with female colleagues.
One corporate lawyer scratched his tradition of grabbing Christmas drinks with a female mentee, and opted for the safer alternative of lunch. Another city businessman now brings his lawyer to meetings with women to avoid any misconstrued messages.
“I even think to myself, ‘Should I be meeting someone at my office at 9 o’clock at night when no one else is there?’ ” admitted criminal-defense attorney Jeremy Saland, who has seen an uptick in #MeToo-inspired extortion cases. “Anyone can make an allegation.”
“Our clients are seeking protection from extorters because they are petrified that if a claim is made public, shared with family or reported to employers, perception — not the truth — will carry the day.”
So is avoiding outings with female colleagues, the result of a personal cost-benefit analysis and decision?
If so, can you really blame them?
Then Skank Of America could start in...