The Girlsauthor Emma Cline is being sued by an ex-boyfriend who alleges that Cline plagiarized parts of her hugely popular novel “by using spyware to access his email and other accounts.”
The Guardian reports that Cline “vehemently denies” the claims, made by Chaz Reetz-Laiolo with whom she was in a relationship while the pair were aspiring writers. It is from this shared time together that the claims arise, Cline’s countersuit says, noting that it “amounts to a few stray phrases and passages that stemmed from the couple’s shared lives, conversations and reading of each other’s work.”
According to Reetz-Laiolo, he was sold a computer by Emma Cline which had spyware installed. He claims she used this spyware to access his private accounts in order to steal his writing. He also names Penguin Random House in the lawsuit, on the grounds that they “knowingly” published plagiarized work. His lawsuit requests that Penguin Random House cease printing Cline’s novel, and asks for unspecified damages.
Image Via The Paris Review
The countersuit states that Reetz-Laiolo’s allegations are the “ludicrous” acts of an envious man and are “part of a two-year assault on her mental health and literary reputation.” Cline’s countersuit acknowledges that during their relationship she utilized spyware to investigate Reetz-Laiolo’s possible infidelity, but states she retained no access to the spyware once the computer was no longer in her possession. Cline is requesting that the court declare that “she has not infringed any copyright and seeks damages of at least $75,000.”
According to Cline’s lawyers, she is attempting to:
Put a stop to an escalating campaign by her abusive ex-boyfriend to extract millions of dollars by intimidation and threat, all under the auspices of frivolous claims of copyright infringement, a long-stale complaint that Cline “invaded” his privacy, and a ludicrous theory that she hacked into and stole unpublished written work from his computer.
If you haven’t read The Girls, I would urge you to do so. It is, regardless of its origins, incredible. Set against the dreamy backdrop of 60s California, it explores the dark and difficult elements of female adolescence through the character of Evie, a young girl who becomes involved with a Manson-family inspired cult.
In the wake of the myriad allegations of sexual assault and harassment against film producer Harvey Weinstein, the question of the abuse of power has been raised not only in Hollywood but internationally, in every field. Women all over the world have used the #metoo hashtag to speak out about their experiences and highlight how widespread the problem truly is.
Emma Cline, author of the award-winning novel The Girls, whose fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Tin House, The Paris Review, and Granta, has written for The Cutabout her experiences with sexual harassment in the publishing industry. She opens the article with an incident that occurred ‘years ago,’ at an awards ceremony for a literary prize she had won.
An older writer introduced himself. I imagined, for a moment, that maybe he saw me as a fellow writer. When someone gestured for us to stand together for a photograph, the writer put his hand on my back, then dropped it lower to grab my ass; how swiftly I was returned to my body, to the fact of my youth and gender.
She goes on to detail several other incidents of harassment by men high up in the publishing industry, begging for her number with drunken assurances that they would get her published, forgetting, ignoring or simply not considering the possibility that she had already been widely published. Cline then bravely relates a more extreme, more personal episode involving an abusive partner she had when she was twenty-two, which she did not report, thus illustrating the many levels on which power-play and abuse function in society. Cline says “This isn’t the first time I’ve written an essay about gendered violence. I wrote a whole novel about it. But here I am, again. And even as I write this, any anger I feel ebbs into weariness.”
Emma Cline | emmacline.com
She echoes the sentiment of many women, tired of enduring a seemingly endless series of comments, passes and worse. In response to criticism leveled at Weinstein’s accusers and the many people who have spoken out in the wake of the accusation, who did not immediately speak out following the incidents, Cline says:
Of course women attempt to appease men who’ve abused them, or try to transform the pain into friendship, blur the sharp edges in their minds into the shape of something manageable. It’s like teaching someone how to play a game and then punishing them when they follow the rules; women would act differently if we believed there was any other way to escape unharmed from the whims of men. We’re navigating a society defined by them, and suffering for it. Yet we’re blamed for our attempts to survive within those parameters.
Cline is brave to add her name and story to the ever-growing list of people speaking out about their own experiences. Hopefully this wave of stories and experiences made public will pave the way for real change.
Emma Cline’s ‘The Girls’ would be the perfect accompaniment to this dreamy ballad. The song’s nostalgic tone and heart-beat rhythms echo the air of memory and conjure up the cool sixties Californian setting of Cline’s debut. Though the book is much darker, dealing with the protagonist Evie’s past as a teenage member of a dangerous cult, we think the eerily sweet vocals and repetition of “crazy, crazy, crazy” could definitely hint at the frightening themes of secrets, possession, and the past in this stunning book.
This song, featuring The Weeknd, is a pretty straightforward love song as Lana demanda that The Weeknd ‘take off all [his] clothes.’ There’s no denying the somewhat sexual element to this duet and we think the famously raunchy ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ would be the perfect partner for this track!
Del Rey has said that this song is inspired by an experience of going to thirteen beaches before finding one where she was safe from the paparazzi, so we think a book that deals with lack of privacy would suit this song down to the ground! Heinrich Böll’s book ‘The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum’ depicts the awful effects of excessive media reporting on a person’s life.
We think this tune is a little spooky, between its declarations of love- ‘I fall to pieces when I’m with you,’ to the suddenly angrier ‘all of my peaches are ruined, bitch,’ the character Del Rey embodies in this song is clearly a little erratic and unpredictable, so we’ve chosen John Lutz’s famously creepy novel of obsession to go along with it!
This song deals with ill-advisedly falling for someone who has a great car, and we know someone who’s whole life changed when she did this. When Lynn Barber was still in school, she was seduced by an older man, who swept her away to a life of luxury…but that was only the beginning.
Another memoir, this one deals with Beverly Donofrio’s early life as a rebel, riding around town with boys, drinking, smoking and disregarding authority. With guest vocals for A$AP Rocky, ‘Summer Bummer’ is the perfect soundtrack to this honest, funny and hopeful account of youth.
This account of life as a groupie in the 60s and 70s could have been the inspiration behind ‘Groupie Love.’ Charting her fifteen years of adventure as a groupie to the biggest bands of the era, Des Barres reveals details of her life during that time, including her affairs with the likes of Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page and Jim Morrison.
‘In My Feelings’ follows the singer putting her foot down and standing up for herself: ‘who’s doper than this bitch? Who’s freer than me?’ We think Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ which follows her own brave decision to leave behind the life in which she was unhappy and find her own best self, would be a great companion to this empowering tune.
This song, dripping with nostalgic reverie and penned while Lana was at Coachella, looks to bridge the gap between the festivals of then and now. ‘Girls Like Us,’ a biography of three of the leading ladies of the 60s would go along very nicely.
This ode to sisterhood in the USA could only be accompanied by the marvelous ‘Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants’ series, following the adventures of a group of friends and their magical pair of jeans that somehow fits all of them perfectly.
This song is inspired by the USA’s current political climate, and asks the question, ‘is this the end of an era, the end of America?’ In an interview with Flaunt, Lana asked ‘are we running out of time with this person at the helm of a ship? Will it crash?’ So we’ve chosen the book of the moment, Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopia ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ The book is set in a future where women are used for reproduction, forced to be completely subservient. This beautiful ballad reminds us to keep resisting.
The queen of witchy wonder Stevie Nicks and the son of rock’n’roll, Sean Ono Lennon, both appear on this song declaring themselves beautiful people with beautiful problems. We’ve chosen ‘The Age of Innocence’ by Edith Wharton, which follows the scandalous lives of upper class society in 1800s New York.
Sung with Sean Ono Lennon, the son of John and Yoko, this simple love song references Sean’s famous parents and summers in the city. We’ve chosen Irish writer Kevin’ Barry’s award winning novel ‘Beatlebone’ to go along with it. ‘Beatlebone’ follows a fictional version of John Lennon who has left New York for Ireland.
This astounding YA novel by English author Kevin Brooks follows sixteen-year-old Joe and his love affair with a young sex worker named Candy. His attempts to save her from her addiction plunge them both into more danger than he could ever have imagined. Once again, Lana Del Rey’s dreamy songs with dark subject matter would be the perfect companion to this tour-de-force that, although aimed at teens, will satisfy readers of any age.
Spin called this song “a quietly moving testimony to overcoming apathy in search of personal transformation.” In keeping with this mentality, we’ve chosen Paulo Coehlo’s beloved novel of self discovery and the part we play in shaping our own destiny.
This short story collection, exploring the lives of young women in new places, is not always upbeat. In parts, it can be extremely dark and unsettling. But, we think upbeat album closer ‘Get Free’ would make a great soundtrack for it. Lana sings: “I never really noticed that I had to decide/ To play someone’s game or live my own life,” and the young women who appear in this collection are all dealing with what it means to be alone in new places and navigate new territories, be they new countries, frightening situations, or sexual experiences.
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