Jeff Merkey, a former Novell chief scientist, has issued a statement accusing Jimmy Wales of extortion. Merkey says that Wales offered him "special protection" for his Wikipedia entry in exchange for a "substantial" donation to Wales's Wikimedia Foundation. After Merkey withdrew his donation over concerns that the funds were being mismanaged, he was banned from the site for "frivolous and unsubstantiated claims." Merkey's not the only one: Rachel Marsden, Wales's ex-girlfriend, has privately threatened Wales with a lawsuit over what she claims are hostile revisions to her Wikipedia entry which began after they broke up. While they were together, Wales promised Marsden swift action on edits so he could "continue fucking [her] brains out." After the jump, Merkey's statement and Marsden's email.
Merkey's extortion charge:
According to Merkey, in 2006, Wales agreed that in exchange for a substantial donation and other financial support of the Wikimedia Foundation projects, Wales would use his influence to make Merkey's article adhere to Wikipedia's stated policies with regard to internet libel "as a courtesty" and place Merkey under his "special protection" as an editor. Merkey later withdrew his financial support of the Wikipedia project after reviewing evidence of diversion and mismanagement of the charities funds by Wales and the Wikimedia Board of Trustees and was immediately banned from the Wikipedia site by the Arbitration Committee for frivilous and unsubstanciated claims after he terminated the payments of $5,000.00 per year to the Wikimedia Foundation.
Marsden's lawsuit threat:
(Photo of Wales via Partial Immortalization)