Robbie Harvey Crowdfunds Legal Fees Amidst $150 Million Kassenoff Defamation Lawsuit
“If Robbie is muzzled, then anyone could be the next target,” says GoFundMe page calling for community support.
Social media celebrity Robbie Harvey, with more than 3.1 million followers on TikTok, has organized a GoFundMe crowd-fundraiser to help cover the costs of his defense against a $150 million defamation suit filed by Allan Kassenoff and his attorney, Constantine Gus Dimopoulos.
The fundraiser, which went live two days ago, has raised $1,612 of its $100,000 target from 48 donors as of 10 p.m. on Wednesday, September 13.
“Will you stand beside us? Will you unite against those attempting to stifle our efforts to report injustices and protect the innocent?” the GoFundMe says in its appeal.
A Controversial Backstory
On May 27, Catherine Youseff Kassenoff, an ex-Assistant U.S. Attorney and the plaintiff, Allan Kassenoff’s wife, publicly disclosed her intention to seek medically assisted suicide in Switzerland that day. This announcement came in the wake of her losing parental rights in a family court in Westchester County, NY.
Four days after her self-reported suicide, Harvey posted TikTok videos reporting Catherine Kassenoff’s death, and included documents and videos “laying bare shocking corruption and collusion in her divorce and custody case, which ultimately led to her losing custody of her three daughters,” Harvey’s GoFundMe page states. The page provides a link to one of Harvey’s TikTok videos of Kassenoff.
According to TikTok’s published stats, Harvey’s videos on the Kassenoffs garnered more than 39 million views.
Standing Up For Free Speech
The GoFundMe page states Harvey reported on “FACTS sourced from Catherine’s court documents, the materials she shared online, and news articles, exercising his First Amendment right to freedom of speech,” as per the GoFundMe page.
The fundraising campaign also pointed out that the Kassenoff case was not the first time Harvey focused on stories of abuse, and pointed out his reporting on other cases involving “victims of New York divorce and family court system.”
Harvey’s Attorney Speaks
Jonathan Davidoff, Harvey’s legal counsel, described Kassenoff’s lawsuit as an blatant attempt to “alter the historical record” and a “spiteful revenge attempt” to silence Harvey’s outspoken attempts to expose abuse.
Davidoff said, “In the lawsuit, Messrs. Dimopoulos and Kassenoff attempt to victimize themselves while attempting to rewrite history. Mr. Harvey is committed to vigorously defending the meritless claims assertions…. Mr. Harvey aims to protect not only his own constitutional rights but also those fundamental principles upon which this nation was founded – the right to freedom of speech and the freedom of the press.”
Davidoff said Kassenoff’s lawsuit infringes on Florida’s anti-SLAPP law, which protects against lawsuits aimed at stifling free speech.
Davidoff said, “Messrs. Kassenoff and Dimopoulos will be held accountable for their violation of Florida’s Anti-SLAPP law.”
According to Harvey’s GoFundMe page, the lawsuit could have a “profound impact on the future of journalism and reporting on family courts in America.”
The GoFundMe page says if Kassenoff silences “Robbie’s First Amendment Rights, reporting on injustices by Judges, Attorneys, and Court Professionals in the family law system will be hampered, and certain wrongdoers will NOT be held accountable.”
The GoFundMe page states Harvey will use the money solely for his legal defense and donate any unused funds to non-profit organizations working towards change in New York State.
These include Kyra’s Champions, the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Prevent Child Abuse NY, Sanctuary for Families, Safe Horizons, and Crime Victims Treatment Centers.
“Thank you for your assistance, your support, and your prayers,” the GoFundMe page concludes. “Together, we can make a difference and ensure that the truth prevails. Stand alongside Robbie Harvey and the countless victims who rely on his reporting and advocacy.”