How Revenge-Porn Publisher Hunter Moore Suffered $250,000 Worth of Payback

Hunter Moore, the Most Hated Man on the Internet, has not, historically, taken legal complaints very seriously. The revenge-porn entrepreneur behind the now-defunct site Is Anyone Up has built his identity around trolling critics and a lawsuit is just another form of criticism.

So when Storage Wars cast member Brandi Passante sued the 27-year-old for defamation last fall, after he posted a nude video of a woman he claimed was her, Moore responded to Passante's lawyer by emailing a picture of his dick.

And by all accounts, he does everything possible to avoid being served with the paperwork that officially implicates him in a suit, including physically hide. So late last August, when online entrepreneur James McGibney tried to serve Moore with a defamation lawsuit—the result of a spectacularly failed attempt to collaborate with and reform Moore—no one would answer the door at Moore's home in Sacramento. The legal team had to set up round-the-clock surveillance. Finally, at 2 a.m., Moore returned from a fast-food run.

The story, as it's been passed along, is that the Moore got out of his car, saw the unfamiliar face heading his way, started to sprint, but tripped and fell, his food flying everywhere. And there on the ground, the internet's Most Proudly Outspoken Bully was served with a lawsuit for publicly accusing a former Marine of being a pedophile, amid Taco Bell goop.

On Friday afternoon, a Las Vegas judge signed off on a ruling that Moore must pay McGibney $250,000 in damages, $11,581 in attorney's fees, and $1,588.50 in suit costs, all with 3.25 percent interest. It was the day before Moore's 27th birthday. He wasn't present, having ignored all the proceedings.

Whether he has the money or not is an open question. Moore has repeatedly boasted on Twitter that he's a millionaire—having made money from DJing, promotion, and merchandise—though he's also claimed he could talk Barbara Walters out of her panties.

"We're all going to find out together how much money Hunter Moore has because we're going after every one of his assets immediately," McGibney told me Monday. "Let's see what Hunter really has. I'm gonna own everything. I'm gonna own his car and HunterMoore.tv." McGibney said he will donate all of Moore's money to battered women's shelters.

***

Before the puddle of Taco Bell and the quarter-million-dollar judgment, McGibney set out to work with Moore. In April of 2012, he launched Bullyville, a site that rather optimistically aimed to be an online resource for victims of social harassment, where threatened kids can share their stories, write anonymous letters to their oppressors, and read testimonials from famous people who empathize with atomic wedgies.

It was one of the more uplifting of the many imaginary cybertowns of which McGibney is the self-elected mayor: Cupidville.com (dating), Karmaville.com (a home for tales of reciprocity, bad and good), Slingerville.com (tattooing), the forthcoming Dramaville.com. The capital is Cheaterville.com, a user-driven database where vengeful types and jilted lovers can publicly, and anonymously, accuse former partners, exes, or anyone, really, of philandering. Cheaterville was born, McGibney told Anderson Cooper in 2011, after he and a buddy returned from a tour of duty with the Marines to discover that the friend's wife had been unfaithful throughout.

Next to the unauthorized revenge-porn info-dump of Is Anyone Up, Cheaterville is relatively gentle, allowing accused cheaters the chance to rebut the claims, and willingly removing posts if the original poster wants them down. Where Cheaterville.com accommodated remorse, Moore would never take down angrily submitted nudes, even after threat of litigation, even if the original submitter begged for their removal. Instead, he made sure to publish each unwilling model's full name, social-media links, and city of residence.

Yet soon after the launch of Bullyville, McGibney and Moore seemed to have found common ground. On April 19, Bullyville bought IsAnyoneUp.com, got the life-ruining tool taken down, and assumed credit for reforming the apparently irredeemable. The legendarily abusive IsAnyoneUp.com now redirected to Bullyville.com and Moore himself professed a change of heart. "I think it's important that everyone realizes the damage that online bullying can cause," Moore wrote in a public statement, just weeks after having proclaimed that anybody weak enough to complain about cyberbullying should just kill themselves.

"I've become friends with the founder of BullyVille, CupidVille, CheaterVille and KarmaVille and he helped me realize that my talents in the programming and social networking world could be channeled in a positive way," Moore wrote.

"IsAnyoneUp.com served no public good—that is why it is offline," McGibney told me over the phone, hours after the sale was announced. "Over 20,000 e-mails from a lot of women who were on that site, who were fully naked, nothing was blurred out, who could not get it off. Everyone on the planet tried to shut down Is Anyone Up? I was able to work with him and reason with him, and here we are. At the end of the day, I'm really happy with what we did here. I can go to sleep at night with my wife and two kids. I did something positive for society."

"I didn't sell my site, they gave me a job offer," Moore told me that same afternoon. "I'm going to be making original content for the [ville.com] sites. But mostly Bullyville."

Then he burped. "I'm drunk, dude."

***

The atonement, it soon turned out, was a con. The following August, McGibney got a call from a freelance reporter for The Daily. It regarded something Moore posted the night before to Twitter:

Moore had, in fact, talked a tremendous amount of shit about Bullyville and McGibney in an interview, the least of which was a casually indirect request to "suck my dick." It's impolite to request a dick-sucking publicly, never mind when it's in regards to someone you've engaged in a nondisclosure business transaction with, especially when that someone is a former Marine with "Semper Fi" tattooed on his back.

Hunter Moore has trouble keeping his mouth shut. He once threatened to burn down the Village Voice, where I'd published a cover profile about him, after I learned the FBI had been investigating him and planned to write something. (This information would later be confirmed when the FBI raided his house.)

More recently, during a morning-show interview with syndicated DJ and his female partner, Moore got upset when asked aggressively about his finances and said, "I'll rape your fucking cohost in front of you."

So after Moore's conversation with The Daily, McGibney retaliated by having his team turn Is Anyone Up's domain, which had been redirecting to Bullyville.com, into a fake splash page promising an impending IAU announcement. This upset Moore, who embarked on a very long and nasty Twitter tirade against his former business partner. A few examples, though they're all archived here:

Four days later, McGibney filed a defamation of character lawsuit with the help of Nevada-based lawyer Marc Randazza. (The complaint cited Gawker and my reporting at the Village Voice.)

Meanwhile, McGibney also spearheaded a class-action lawsuit and eventually helped rally hacktavist collective Anonymous against Moore, igniting a formal vendetta that would result in a startling amount of Moore's personal information being posted on the Internet.

***

In December, Hunter Moore began soliciting revenge-porn submissions for an IAU sequel, HunterMoore.tv, a new endeavor he'd described as "very scary," and "something that will [make] you question if you will ever want to have kids." At one point, he even promised to post "people's house info with google earth directions."

The threat of a revenge-porn relaunch was another betrayal to Bullyville. By December, McGibney was more committed than ever to bringing down his former ally in court. "He's crazy if he thinks he's going to get away with bullying the founder of Bullyville," McGibney told me then. "It's ridiculous. You couldn't pick a worse person [to attack]: I'm an asshole, I'm relentless, and I'm the founder of Bullyville. Good fucking luck."

Over email, he continued, "He can threaten to kick my ass, or rape my wife while my kids watch, or spew whatever else he wants to out of his vile mouth. I'm not backing down; sometimes you need to be a bully to beat a bully. I'm going to legally kick his despicable ass through our judicial system."

McGibney tipped off Anonymous to Moore's promise to publish home addresses via Twitter, which ended with Anonymous publishing all of Moore's personal information. "I'm gonna keep going after the guy," McGibney told me. "If you're gonna go online and threaten to rape my wife while my kids watch? I will be your worst enemy ever. Good luck. I'm not stopping."

He wasn't kidding. Moore defaulted on the suit—he entirely ignored it. But McGibney was so committed to receiving a judgment ruling that he brought in two public-relations experts to estimate the monetary cost of Moore's damaging accusations to McGibney's reputation.

Moore, for his part, has so far kept quiet about the $250,000 decision. Huntermoore.tv has yet to go live. (Moore has claimed on Twitter that he had television-show deal and couldn't afford to legal drama while the show was in production, though he wouldn't specify the details to Betabeat.) One thing that's true: He's about to go on tour with "That's Why I Fucked Your Mom" poet Bam Margera.

To this day, James McGibney and Hunter Moore have never met.

Image by Jim Cooke.