Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Did Phil Mickelson Have an Affair and Spawn a Love Child? No!

No. The answer to the question in the headline is no.

But many people apparently think otherwise, or at least have heard rumors to the contrary. It's a lesson in the power of social media to create very unsocial behavior on the Web by trolls who believe they are safe from having their identity revealed.

Here's what happened: Back in mid-November of 2011, a commenter on Yahoo! Sports posted a series of comments attacking Mickelson. The commenter said, among other things, that Phil's wife Amy had an affair with Michael Jordan; and that Phil himself had an affair and was the father of a child with the alleged lover. (These attacks actually go back farther, at least as far back as 2006.)

None of that was true, but this commenter on Yahoo! Sports said it was. And that is how salacious rumors are born in the Internet age. From there, it was a short leap to posting on other sites, by both commenters and sometimes bloggers, "reporting" the "rumors" that were floating around.

Mickelson, as you can imagine, was not pleased. His team started investigating those original comments on Yahoo! Sports, which, in court filings, they termed "vicious" and "highly defamatory."

The Mickelson legal team filed in San Diego Superior Court to force Yahoo! to reveal the commenter's IP address. With the IP address in hand, the Mickelson team determined that the commenter was using Canadian cable provider Videotron as his ISP.

So they they filed suit in Quebec Superior Court in early 2012, seeking to force Videotron to reveal the identity of the commenter.

The Quebec court ordered Videotron to do so, and the company complied.

What happened after that is unclear. The story drops from the news at that point. But how surprised do you think that troll must have been when the Mickelson legal team came a'calling?

Just remember, if you're one of those people who've heard scandalous gossip about Phil or Amy Mickelson, those rumors were created out of thin air by some schlub with too much time on his hands and some very bad manners. The Mickelson love child rumors simply aren't true.

(If you're wondering why we brought this topic up again, it's because every time Phil does something big - such as winning the 2013 British Open - it spawns a ton of web searches for the allegations. Those searchers need to know that the rumors are spurious.)

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2 comments:

  1. thank you for that! I am a huge Mickelson fan and the whole "figjam" drives me nuts! I watch almost every week and have never seen anything that would make me believe that. Some others could take a few cues from his demeanor and attitude!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Must have been a Tiger Woods fan-atic.

    ReplyDelete

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