Mickelson sues to ID anonymous Web critics

Phil Mickelson at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Phil Mickelson at the Farmers Insurance Open. ( Associated Press )

Thursday, February 2, 2012

In two decades on the PGA Tour, Phil Mickelson has amassed a reputation for not hiding his emotions. Ecstatic in victory (the leap on the 18th green at the 2004 Masters) and devastated in defeat (a self-described “idiot” at the 2006 U.S. Open).

So, it’s in keeping with Lefty’s character that he is going after two anonymous bloggers who have spread what Mickelson calls “vicious” rumors on the web regarding the 39-time Tour winner and his family.

Mickelson has sued Videotron S.E.N.C., demanding that the Canadian Internet service provider disclose the identity of the author of “several highly defamatory statements,” according to Courthouse News Service, citing a copy of the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit filed Jan. 25 in Quebec Superior Court, Mickelson claims that one or more anonymous people using the pseudonyms “Fogroller” and “Longitude” on a Yahoo website “suggest that plaintiff has an illegitimate child, that his wife has affairs and other similar vexatious statements that are absolutely untrue and, simply put, vicious.”

Mickelson’s wife, Amy, is recovering from breast cancer. The couple, married in 1996, have three children and live in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Mickelson, 41, who lists a San Diego business address in the Quebec court filing, petitioned San Diego Superior Court to subpoena Yahoo! for information about Fogroller and Longitude. In response, Yahoo provided Fogroller’s Internet protocol address, which is registered to a Videotron subscriber.

Videotron responded through its attorney by demanding that Mickelson, who is being represented in Quebec by the Canadian law firm Stikeman Elliott, secure a court order before it would disclose the user’s identity.

Mickelson’s complaint, according to Courthouse News Service, further states: “It is urgent, and in the best interest of justice, to accurately identify the person using the ‘Fogroller’ pseudonym and posting these offensive and defamatory statements, in order to stop the dissemination of false and wrongful statements about the plaintiff and obtain reparation for the prejudice already suffered.”

Mickelson has had a sluggish start to his 2012 season. He tied for 49th at the Humana Challenge and missed the cut at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open. He is playing this week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a tournament that he has won twice.

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