N.Y. City Antidiscrimination Law Doesn’t Apply to Plaintiffs or Events Unconnected With N.Y.,
From Hay v. N.Y. Media LLC, decided yesterday by the Second Circuit (Judges John Walker, Pierre Leval & Michael Park):
Bruce Hay, a civil procedure professor at Harvard Law School, appeals the denial of his request for leave to file a second amended complaint (“SAC”) in his lawsuit against Kera Bolonik and her former employer, New York Media LLC …. The allegations in the SAC center on a July 2019 article—published in print in New York Magazine and online in The Cut—in which Bolonik wrote of Hay’s tumultuous relationship with married couple Maria-Pia Shuman and Mischa Shuman ….
The article described the relationship between a “spellbound” Hay and the Shumans, who cycled between flattery and romantic affection toward Hay, at certain times, and harassment of him and his family, at others. The article recounts that the Shumans, for example, deceived Hay into believing that he fathered Maria-Pia’s child, filed retaliatory rape and sexual harassment allegations against Hay in a Title IX complaint at Harvard, and manufactured a fraudulent lease in order to take possession of the Hay family’s home. According to the article, Hay “entertain[ed] doubts” about the Shumans and on several occasions contacted law enforcement, but he “still sought ways to justify, or at least make sense of, [the Shumans’] campaign against him, searching in earnest for evidence of genuine affection amid the years of deceit.” A
Hay approached Bolonik in the summer of 2018 and told her “that he believed he and several other men had been victimized by the Shumans.” Bolonik published an article titled The Most Gullible Man in Cambridge on July 22, 2019, and—upon receiving further stories of similar interactions with the Shumans from other people—another article titled The Harvard Professor Scam Gets Even Weirder on August 8, 2019. After publication, Hay “promote[d] the article and defend[ed] it from legal attacks,” and he even assisted Bolonik in writing a letter “negat[ing]” the Shumans’ defamation claims against the author.
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