Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but what if her high-profile husband violated her right to privacy? In a new defamation lawsuit, Samantha Boomer, ex-wife of Orlando-based “Monsters in the Morning” radio host, Russ Rollins, alleges bullying and invasion of privacy in their bitter breakup.
The suit stems from an elaborate hoax in which the popular broadcaster misled his audience into thinking he was served divorce papers live on the air, eliciting passionate listener reactions. You can watch the original video HERE. The iHeartMedia personality assumed the dramatic prank was all fun and games, but now, famed celebrity human rights lawyer Gloria Allred is involved. In a news conference, Allred announced her client’s merciless taunting, proclaiming her a victim of bullying both online and in her Florida community.
In the age of social media, cyber bullying, is on the tip of Americans’ tongues. After the stunt, Boomer claims she was tormented in online forums like the comments section of this Barstool Sports article (NSFW), which has since been disabled. Writers of the website openly shamed Boomer, inciting recent feminist backlash. Supported by Allred, she alleges emotional distress perpetuated by the video and listeners’ hateful comments, calling for Rollins and his employer to pay up. The case raises tricky questions regarding social media responsibility, the blending of real-life controversy and entertainment, and what constitutes legal liability when a person’s reputation is on the line.
“Monsters in the Morning” is known for its bawdy humor, but in hindsight, Rollins’ stunt seems an obvious recipe for disaster–despite his successful ploy for ratings. He and Boomer have a storied history of make-ups and break-ups, and the feuding spouses recently underwent a lengthy divorce settlement. Revelations of Rollins’ alleged violence against his ex-wife, some seven instances of domestic abuse, make his on-air actions a bit precarious.
In light of Boomer’s lawsuit, the radio station is now backpedaling, issuing a public statement apologizing for Rollins “incorrectly” stating his wife had ordered papers to be served during the broadcast. Central Florida’s news affiliate WFTV 9 has been leading reports on the controversy since February, but as of Monday, the talk show comedian refused to further comment.
What do you think: did the prank go too far?