Judge mulls The Abbey’s lawsuit against woman who claimed she was drugged

Although saying he’s inclined to pare a lawsuit brought by the Abbey bar against a comedy writer and actress for an alleged false claim that she was drugged by a bartender at the West Hollywood establishment despite video footage to the contrary, a judge Wednesday took the case under submission to study the issues further.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel Murphy did not say when he would have a final decision.

In his tentative ruling issued Tuesday, the judge said he is leaning toward dropping the Abbey’s claims against Haely Smalle, also known as Haely White, for defamation and trade libel, allowing only her claim for breach of contract to go to trial.

The Abbey’s attorney, Christopher Reeder, previously dropped a claim for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Murphy said that based on online reports she read of others allegedly being served spiked drinks at the Abbey, White had a reasonable belief she had been drugged by an Abbey bartender and therefore she did not act with actual malice. The judge cited White’s sworn declaration, in which she said:

“From all of this evidence, I concluded that, like the other people who reported similar experiences, I had been roofied during my visit to the Abbey,” White stated. “I attributed this act to a bartender, but now that I have reviewed the video provided to me by the Abbey, I can see that neither the bartender nor anyone else tampered with my drink after it was poured.”

The Abbey’s suit was filed Aug. 17, seeking more than $5 million in damages. The restaurant has had a substantial business loss due to White’s posting, including cancellations and a drop in customers, according to Reeder, who estimated the losses at $1 million and urged the judge to allow a jury to decide whether the bar was defamed.

“This is a very important case you are deciding,” Reeder told the judge, saying that to not properly hold White answerable would allow others to post false statements on social media, then claim later that they made a mistake. White’s actions not only hurt a business trying to recover from a year- long shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, but also accused a bartender of doing something he didn’t do, Reeder said.

“What Ms. White did was disgusting and this court is the forum to hold her accountable,” Reeder said.

But White’s attorney, Robert Shore, disputed the Abbey’s damage claims and said something happened to his client at the bar that night to make her ill, but exactly what is so far uncertain.

According to the suit, White went on social media Aug. 3 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 re-publications 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.

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 by a specified deadline, 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.

White subsequently tweeted, “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…”

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DesertBob
DesertBob
16 days ago

Publicity stunt.

G.A.
17 days ago

Not surprising for someone to try and pull this. Especially women ! Most guys are never in that position ! Gay, or straight !

RobbyDobby
RobbyDobby
20 days ago

I suspect that she took something herself and was surprised by the effects. Needing to save face for her own use of legal or illegal substances, she blamed the bar rather than admitting to her friends that she was doing drugs. I’ve seen this sort of blame shifting all of my adult life. People live in denial of their own bad behavior having negative effects on their lives…

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
21 days ago

She lied and she knew it.

I’ve been lied about twice by women who would have destroyed my life if they weren’t eventually exposed as liars.

Cy Husain
20 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Note that I have disagreed with you about 99% of the time but, will admit when you are 100% right as in this case. She NOW admits what she alleged is untrue AFTER video evidence completely debunks her case. Considerable harm has been done, hate groups wasted no time rushing to social media (I won’t provide links to hate misinformation) claiming that West Hollywood in general and the Abbey specifically has been consistently drugging and sexually assaulting women. Antivaxxers joined proud boys to oppose vaccination and disease containment in numerous violent assaults citing the accusations as their justification ❗

Last edited 20 days ago by Cy Husain
Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
20 days ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

The ready response when a woman’s honesty is in question after making an accusation of sexual impropriety is, “A woman would never lie about something like this!”

The hell she wouldn’t! Women do it all the time!

A case in point … Christine Blasey Ford against SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. No matter which side of the political aisle one is most committed, anyone who objectively listened to her accusation and the evidence (none!) that she presented would have no choice but to conclude without a doubt she was lying.

Cy Husain
19 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and two other women, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick have all independently accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. There is even his own jokes written in Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook, which some former classmates at Georgetown Preparatory School say were misogynistic boasts about sexual conquests.

Swetnick’s description of Kavanaugh matches those of several former classmates who spoke to the New York Times alleging Kavanaugh and others spiked the drinks at house parties so they could target certain girls for “gang rapes.”

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
19 days ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

I know about all of those and they have all been discredited.

And, no, I’m not going to take the time to find the links to post here that show that. It would begin a cycle of back and forth that would result in nothing but a waste of time.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
19 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

They haven’t been discredited at all.

Cy Husain
19 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

NO, I’ve argued with you in the past and if what you claim were the case YOU would have provided the facts with links backing them up as opposed to playing head games.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
18 days ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

It’s BECAUSE you and I have argued in the past that I’ve learned that there is no point! NOTHING, no matter how compelling, changes your mind.

I don’t keep a library of information on hand in the unlikely event that Cy demands it. I don’t care enough to bother.

Cy Husain
18 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Well you are highly motivated to put out a great deal of hateful misinformation that mainstream sources have long debunked.

Consider All the Facts
Consider All the Facts
19 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Vast generalizations not based on fact. It is worth noting the risk a woman takes in coming forward and the risk of a lawsuit in this case threatened by Cooley deflecting the claims or intimidating the individual making the complaint. For those standing with Kavanaugh, consider this. BC was a proud member of DKE, Delta Kappa Epsilon who have a consistent reputation as bad boys exhibiting reprehensible behavior. The first week of college at a women’s college, we were warned about DKE’s and particularly to avoid parties at all costs at the frat house. Transferring to a large university as… Read more »

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
19 days ago

I have considered all the facts and didn’t find a single accusation or piece of evidence that didn’t fall apart on closer investigation.

There was, and it appears still is, confirmation bias that gets in the way of the truth.

Cy Husain
19 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Confirmation Bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs. In the accusations against Kavanaugh we have independent verification

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
18 days ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

You, Cy, are the personification of confirmation bias. All your information comes from the extreme radical left and anything that is to the Right of that is dismissed and disqualified with no consideration that there may be some truth there. For you, independent verification comes from your radical sources.

Last edited 18 days ago by Gimmeabreak
Cy Husain
18 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

I noticed YOU don’t post links to your beloved right-wing sources. Kind of a problem establishing credibility here when their home page is chuck full of holocaust denial, racism and, vicious anti-LGBTQ+ misinformation❓

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
18 days ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

I have a life, Cy, and I don’t sit around all day collecting links and cataloging them so I can go into warfare with an angry radical who actually believes Kyle Rittenhouse acted on racial hatred when he shot those white boys who were going to kill him. I mean, it’s not like there was any video evidence of it nor that the prosecution’s own witnesses confirmed Kyle’s case. You didn’t see any of that in the news you follow, did you?

Cy Husain
16 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

The mainstream news clearly shows videos of Kyle making threats before the shooting, even evidence of Kyle’s racist motivations and, even high resolution drone video clearly showing Kyle to be the aggressor. All suppressed by a highly bias judge. The media you follow celebrates the 3 Jewish men shot protesting the wrongful shooting of of an African-American Muslim man.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
15 days ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

I read both your replies several hours ago and, frankly, I find it frightening that there really are people who are clearly so poorly informed and still have such strong opinions. I can’t imagine how, if you had followed the case at all and examined the evidence, you could come to any other conclusion but that Rittenhouse had no choice but to defend himself as he did. Yes, a 17 year old child should never have been there in the first place, but he broke no laws. THIS is why I don’t bother researching evidence to support my point of… Read more »

Consider All the Facts
Consider All the Facts
19 days ago

BC was the inadvertent incorrect abbreviation for BK.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
21 days ago

It is really hard to believe that bartenders at the Abbey would be spiking drinks and her allegations were certainly reckless. But I am sympathetic toward the alleged victim for whatever she suffered because it seemed pretty traumatic.

Reckless comment?
Reckless comment?
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

There you go again without any knowledge of the facts of the case, making a reckless comment but nearly contradicting yourself in the next sentence. Do you have too much time on your hands?

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
20 days ago

I can’t feel sorry for her even though I don’t believe a bartender spiked her drink?

Cy Husain
20 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Really, a highly privileged influential white woman who lied (stating something she knew to be false as true) about the actions of violently oppressed minorities that actively generated hostility against them❓

Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
20 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

She doesn’t seem very reliable with facts.

Last edited 20 days ago by Joe Bologna
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
19 days ago

Nothing about that comment was reckless.

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