By David Jesse
A former state assistant attorney general will have to pay $4.5 million in damages after a federal jury ruled his blog attacking a University of Michigan student body president for his “radical homosexual agenda” went too far.
Andrew Shirvell, a 2002 U-M alumnus drew national attention for his blog, which he published in 2010, attacking then-U-M student body president Chris Armstrong.
The blog – the “Chris Armstrong Watch” – was filled with posts made by Shirvell, including ones calling Armstrong, who was the first openly gay student body president at U-M, “Satan’s representative on the student assembly” and a “privileged pervert.”
Armstrong sued in 2011, alleging Shirvell defamed him; invaded his privacy and stalked him.
The two fought viciously in court for nearly a year before a week-long trial began last week. The jury got the case late Wednesday and deliberated for most of the day Thursday.
Armstrong won on all counts and was awarded $4.5 million, Armstrong’s attorney Deborah Gordon told the Free Press.
Shirvell was unable to be reached immediately for comment.