Unfortunately, my story is not unique. I’m opening up about it to heal and let others know you’re not alone. The shame from these attacks tends to be isolating in nature and leaves most of us feeling hopeless. Weathering my nightmare, I hope to be a light for those who are being attacked online.
In 2014 I helped to launch a new reality show called “One year To Millionaire.” With my experience co-founding several multimillion-dollar companies, I was a great fit to host this new show. Ask anyone in Hollywood; television shows often don’t see the light of day due to various unforeseen challenges during production. Our show was not an exception, and though I can’t speak of details due to the ongoing case, I can say that it’s unfortunate for all of us, it turned out the way it did.
Many wonderful people gave their talents, time, and their own money to the project, myself included. As the show unraveled, the desire to blame became too great, and some took their grief online. Given my previous successes, I became a worthy target. As a coordinated attack to destroy my name was launched, the posts everywhere ensued. These included accusations of tax evasion, being a scam artist, a pedophile, and running a pedophile ring. You can view a handful of them below. As ridiculous as any of these claims were, their seriousness effectively crippled my career, future businesses and ultimately my family.
In an instant, I was stripped of everything important to me in life. I lived in constant fear my shadow would rise up again each time I got close to someone new, or launched a new business. When it inevitably would, it crushed all hopes I could ever emotionally or financially heal from this event. It’s hard to express the depths to which online slander can crush a soul and the psychological impacts were impossible to escape. Deep depression and anxiety became a daily way of life and I even considered suicide like many other cyberbullying victims. It was a very dark period in my life.
Cyberbullying has a far-reaching impact in today’s modern world. Almost a decade later, the effects of their posts still come up. However, my life today has evolved from grief and loss to global awareness. I know that victims like myself need support, and the legislature has to change. I’m open about the shame this caused me because people need to know the truth. Online bullying is not limited to kids, and there need to be firmer laws protecting all of us. Please educate yourself and donate to one of the beautiful organizations below. Hopefully, our combined efforts will save future generations from the devastating emotional and financial effects of cyberbullying.