The Abbey bar is suing a comedy writer and actress, alleging she falsely stated on social media that she was drugged by a bartender at the longtime West Hollywood establishment in July despite video security footage to the contrary.
The Abbey’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was filed Tuesday against Haely White, alleging defamation, trade libel, breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. It seeks more than $5 million in damages.
The Abbey has had a substantial business loss due to White’s posting, including cancellations and a drop in customers, the suit alleges.
On Aug. 3, White went on social media and said she was “severely drugged by a bartender” at the Abbey on July 29 and encouraged people to “spread the word” and boycott the bar, the suit states.
White also said she “never let her one drink out of her hands.”
However, Abbey video footage accounts for nearly every moment she was at the bar except for 11 minutes in which she and her female companion were in the restroom together, the suit states.
“The footage shows that during her time at the Abbey, nothing out of the ordinary was put in her drink…” the suit states. “At no time can any Abbey personnel, or any other person for that matter, be seen tampering with her drink.”
After her posting, the Abbey reviewed video footage and notified White that her statements were incorrect and offered to allow her to review the video of the night, which she eventually accepted, the suit states.
“Despite notification from the Abbey of these facts, White defiantly continued to propagate her false claims, resulting in countless republications of her statements,” the suit states.
The Abbey sent White, through her lawyer, a cease-and-desist letter demanding she stop making any further defamatory statements and that she post a corrective statement apologizing for her allegations.
White partially removed some of her statements from social media, but not all of them, prompting the Abbey to follow up several times, according to the suit.
On Friday, the Abbey and White reached a settlement agreement and release of White from liability conditioned on the writer prominently posting a correction statement to her various social media accounts by 4 p.m. Saturday, but the correction statement was not posted as prominently as she had promised and she breached the terms by contradicting and retracting her correction statement with another posting, the suit states.
“As a result, White was not released under the terms of the agreement and compounded the Abbey’s damages…” the suit alleges.
White tweeted Sunday: “Obviously, what happened to me that evening was shocking and painful … however, based on my review of video footage, I now believe that what happened to me that night was not the fault of The Abbey or their staff.
“…Having met with The Abbey staff to review video from the night I was there, I believe their actions demonstrate they are truly concerned about the safety of their patrons, and take measures to make their establishment safe,” she continued.
However, less than 24 hours after posting the corrective statement, White posted another statement to Instagram, which read in part:
“Since earlier publicly posted details lacked key information, it’s important you hear the entirety of what happened. The video footage that I have reviewed does not show the bartender placing anything in my drink. There is an important additional detail — the footage also shows me collapsing off the seat at a booth not long after having my drink. It shows me being assisted out of the bar by a friend … I was completely coherent in a phone conversation with my husband just 15 minutes before entering the bar, and didn’t get my drink at The Abbey until nearly 30 minutes after arriving, at least a full hour after a drink I had at dinner. I also have NEVER felt so sick in my life with one exception — when I was roofied many years ago…”
A representative for White could not be immediately reached for comment.
[…] the heels of a much-publicized allegation (and later, a retraction) of a spiked drink at The Abbey, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department provided City Council with […]
[…] the heels of a much-publicized allegation (and later, a retraction) of a spiked drink at The Abbey, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department provided City Council […]
FANTASTIC!!!!! SUE HER SOCKS OFF!!!!! People that make false accusations should be taught a very expensive lesson. FRANKLY, in MY opinion straight women in particular do not belong in gay bars! ONE of the many reasons I will not patronize places that allow straight people to have their ‘parties’ in a gay bar. WHAT about the closeted gay person who is not interested in taking a chance of being seen by straight friends. GAY venues should be a sanctuary for gay people. Do not give me any BS about “coming out”, because not every gay person wants to do that!
i agree 100
This is a comedian? God, I miss Johnny Carson. As for the Abby. It’s one of my favorite places.
I guess they need the money since they couldn’t sell their 20 dollar martinis for a year lol
AGREED!!!! GREEDY GAY VENUES do not get my PINK DOLLARS!
As a good friend whose credentials in the gay bar biz go back almost as far as mine once told me, “Let’s open a bar, they said…it’ll be easy, they said….”
The lady making the false accusation is a complete idiot whom I have no sympathy for. Meanwhile Cooley and his attorney are arrogant bully schmucks. I stopped going to Abbey a few years back because my best friend who was a long time server there was sexually harassed by management for years. When my friend brought up these issues later and wanted to address his experiences….never to sue…but just to be heard and maybe offered an acknowledgment or an apology…. Cooley had his bully attorney send my friend a very crude, hurtful and threatening letter basically telling him that he… Read more »
I have not respected Cooley for decades. HE IS INDEED A BULLY and has proved that time and time again. AND Believe it or NOT. The ABBEY IS NOT the best bar in the world, nor the USA nor California nor even WeHo.
It’s not even gay any more and hasn’t been for YEARS !!
No. The business at the Abbey dropped because of its Communist vaccine rules and the fact that it sucks.
Communist? How so?
Considering her injuries something clearly happened to this woman, it is a shame that she wasn’t taken to an emergency room. Contact with Fentanyl on a wet surface in the bathroom? The bartender poured from a ,”special” bottle? One thing is clear though, the Abbey’s lawsuit against her is reprehensible.
After reading this article,I think this whole matter will ultimately be settled out of court for real.The image of a gay male club owner going after a woman customer is not what The Abbey needs at this time.This whole effort could backfire on them.Women customers may decide the club is not the place for them and will stay away in droves.All it takes is for a social media maven to get a hold of this and start a boycott. The Abbey claims they lost business because of the social media postings. They will have to prove this in court,perhaps bringing… Read more »
The Abbey is not a gay “place” and hadn’t been for eons. But if women stay away in droves, then, maybe, it can call itself gay again.
I’m glad the Abbey is pushing back on this abuse of social media that is used in the pursuit of personal brand development. It’s time to rid the world of mistruths, half-truths, and outright lies that pass for veracity in the sewers of online commentary. Part of the internet sickness is the desire for “followers” in that pathetic drive for “influencer” status. David Cooley puts up with a lot of PR bullpuckey in running his business. Hats off to him for keeping his chin up while so many have him in their crosshairs with their tiresome drivel. There’s significant blame… Read more »
Once again Wehoville didn’t post my comment which was within their own rules. Why not???
three was no post denied. there is not a full time board monitor.
And yet my comment wasn’t posted nor one on John Duran a while back
but there are 142 messages here posted from you so perhaps there was a glitch in the internet at that time. There is no conspiracy.