Noel Rosenberg, former President of Arisia, Inc. (2000, 2018) and Arisia convention chair (2002), filed suit against Crystal Huff in Middlesex (MA) Superior Court on September 17 alleging defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Huff published a 6,000+ word statement on October 25, 2018 ending her connections with the convention: “Why I’m Not At Arisia Anymore: My Rapist is President. Again”. Rosenberg says in his complaint:
…Her blog posting also alleged that in addition to raping her, Noel had “stalked,” “harassed” and “intimidated” her. Crystal’s accusations of violent and heinous criminal wrongdoing by Noel are utterly devoid of any basis in reality.
Rosenberg requests a jury trial, with damages in an amount to be determined by the jury (plus interest), plus costs and attorney’s fees.
A complete copy of the complaint can be downloaded here from a website created for the plaintiff: Noel Rosenberg v. Crystal Huff.
At the time it was published, Huff’s statement evoked a strong and immediate response. Two of Arisia 2019’s guests of honor, Daniel Jose Older and Malka Older, dropped out of the convention. Within three days, the Arisia, Inc. Executive Board announced that Noel Rosenberg had been removed as President and permanently banned from the convention. (This was just the beginning of the convention’s problems. Although not involving Rosenberg, Arisia soon received several more statements criticizing their handling of code of conduct violations, and apologies from two former Arisia officers. There followed four resignations from the Arisia eboard.)
Rosenberg’s complaint gives his version of the relationship he had with Crystal Huff from 2007 to 2010, characterizing all of the encounters where it applies as “consensual sexual intercourse.”
He gives his interpretation of what was done about Huff’s charges at the time under Arisia’s Incident Reporting process, or later when it existed the Arisia Incident Response Team (IRT).
He follows a list of salient examples of the allegations in Huff’s blog post with the summary response:
These and other statements set forth in the blog were false, defamatory and literally fabricated. Her accusations of criminal misconduct are defamatory per se.
The blog post is reproduced in full as one of the attached exhibits.
The court’s website indicates Huff has until January 15, 2021 to file her answer to the suit – coincidentally, the same date the next Arisia is scheduled to begin.