I try not to do this, but this morning I need to spend a few minutes addressing some very personal attacks and lies that were lobbed against me online. I was literally a top trending topic for most of the day yesterday over this yesterday and just want to address it all head on, because the Tom Joyner Morning Show is like family and I need you all to know the truth on this.
Listen, as we head into MLK Day, it does help me to remember that all of our leaders have endured lies and hate and slander. Knowing that in theory is one thing, but enduring it is altogether different.
People tell so many lies about me online – that it has just become a daily part of my life to endure them and push through, but a few months ago, we started noticing that some of the lies were not just out of hand, and outrageous, but that they were actually doing real damage to my reputation and livelihood.
And while some people kept advising me to not even address them, or to not even dignify them with a response, the lies just grew and grew and grew, and the damage did as well.
And over the past month, in particular, the lies have spiraled out of control.
So, I hired four attorneys, India Sneed, Ben Crump, Lee Merritt, and Ron Sullivan to help me to start addressing each lie, one by one, case by case, because it is actually illegal to slander or libel someone with falsehoods.
So, we’ve created a list of people who’ve posted the most damaging lies online, and are just going down the list, one by one, sending them cease and desist orders, demanding that they delete their lies and retract them publicly, or we will proceed with a lawsuit against them.
Again, people say “Shaun – why even address these lies?” But people are canceling speaking engagements over these lies. Colleagues of mine are confronting me over these lies. Families affected by police brutality are calling me in tears because people are telling them these lies.
So let me address the first three of them here.
The first one that has gone completely viral is that I raised money for Cyntoia Brown, the young sister in Tennessee who was just granted clemency, that I raised money for her, and have kept the money. This lie was first posted on the night she was granted clemency, and has since spread across the Internet. Now if that was true, that would be pretty damn ugly. And people are pissed. And if I did that, people should be pissed.
But here’s what’s wild, not only did I not keep money I raised for Cyntoia Brown, I never even raised money for Cyntoia Brown. I don’t even know who raised money for her. I had nothing to do with any fundraisers for her. It’s all a complete fabrication.
I can’t even make sense on why someone said this. And these aren’t anonymous trolls saying this, but real people online, some with verified accounts, literally demanding that I give Cyntoia Brown her money – when I literally never had anything to do with a fundraiser for her. It’s outrageous. I saw a tweet this morning that was shared over 1,000 times demanding that I prove it.
Prove what? I had nothing to do with a fundraiser for Cyntoia Brown.
Secondly, and this fabrication has spread all over the Internet, people are saying that I kept and spent reward money we raised for the person who turned in the killers of 7 year old Jazmine Barnes in Houston. This is another complete fabrication. First, I never touched a single penny we raised. It all went to a 3rd party account not managed by me, and secondly, every single penny that came in went to the tipster. All of it. What did you think we were going to do? Hold an event like this person won the lottery where we present them a big check and balloons fall from the sky? We gave the funds to them confidentially. And that is how this always happens.
Lastly, someone said that I am putting ads into viral Facebook videos of police violence, and splitting the money with Facebook and getting rich off of it. Again, this has literally never happened a single day in my life. I’ve never done that. I never would. I don’t even know HOW to do this. It’s a complete fabrication. Nobody has even me do this. The person who said this literally made it up – and it went viral.
I’ll close with this thought, and it gives me some solace: the truth is on my side here. I’m going to gonna keep on doing what I do, fighting for justice, fighting for families impacted by injustice, and telling the stories that nobody else is telling.
I love and appreciate you all. And appreciate your support so much.