APRIL 20, 2009 myFOXla.com

Perez Hilton Sued by Ohio Woman

By Scott Coppersmith

Los Angeles (myFOXla.com) - Perez Hilton was sued Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by an Ohio woman who contends the Internet gossip maven caused her to lose her job at a senior center after he posted her full name, work e- mail address and employer's name as revenge for an insulting message she sent.

Diane Wargo contends in the complaint that two years ago, after she sent Hilton -- whose real name is Mario Lavandeira -- an e-mail calling him a "big, fat pig," he retaliated on his Web site by highlighting her message and adding her contact information.

As a result, the lawsuit alleges, Wargo received hundreds of equally insulting e-mail messages and telephone calls at her workplace from Lavandeira's readers. She claims the computer overload caused her to be fired from the job she held for nine years in a retirement home.

"This lawsuit is a complete, utter joke and has absolutely no merit," Lavandeira's attorney, Bryan Freedman, said, adding that because Wargo sent the original insulting message from her work computer, "she should have no expectation of privacy."

A call to Wargo's attorney for comment placed after regular business hours was not immediately returned.

Freedman said Wargo filed the same complaint in a Cleveland court last year, but the suit was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The current version was filed in federal court in Los Angeles because the Perez Hilton Web site is based in West Hollywood.

The complaint seeks compensatory damages in excess of $75,000.