What would you do if you felt someone libeled you on a website, but the site's owner was untraceable and couldn't be served with a lawsuit? Such is the fate of Houstonian Sakara Ross, who wants to be a model and actress, but who's only getting attention for allegedly being a "jump-off" girl -- a pro-athlete groupie.
It's a drama unfolding on gossip websites that might be unfamiliar to many, but which are populated with athletes' wives and mistresses; video vixens; and plain old folk who just like to get all up in people's business.
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Ross sued the unknown owner of www.lipstickalley.com, as well as a handful of site members, in 2009, but the suit has languished because Ross's attorney hasn't been able to find actual names. Naturally, the site's owner, who goes by the name "Condi," declined to be interviewed. Her secrecy has allowed anonymous critics to attack Ross's character with impunity.
But then the wife of the NBA player Ross allegedly had an affair with threw her hat in the ring: Vanessa Davis mailed the judge in Ross's case an exchange of heated, profane, down-and-dirty e-mails between Davis and Ross, giving a real inside look into the insular world of basketball wives and basketball paramours.
Meanwhile, Lipstick Alley has shown up in another case involving an NBA player; although the site is not a party in the suit, the baby-mama of Orlando Magic player Dwight Howard is accused of trashing Howard in anonymous posts on the site. The lawyers in that case have apparently been unable to identify the real "Condi" as well.
While these circumstances are unfortunate for Ross, they are a glimpse into a world the rest of us don't see so often. Enjoy this week's cover story, "Trash Talk."