A Marine Corps officer in Houston, TX is suing a woman he met through the online dating app Tinder, alleging that she defamed him online — costing him his job and damaging his reputation.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Joseph Lazarus, 31, met a woman identified by LawNewz.com as Melissa Lim on Tinder in 2014 and that the two dated for about three months before the relationship ended.
According to Lazarus’ attorney Joseph Mathew, Lim wanted to remain friends after the relationship but Lazarus did not. Lim is accused of engaging in a years-long pattern of harassment and stalking in the wake of the rejection.
The Chronicle said, “Within a few months after the breakup, Lazarus said he started receiving threatening messages from her. At one point he received a message from her demanding $10,000 from him or she would tell people he raped her.”
Then in the fall of last year, Lazarus said he was summoned to his boss’ office at the high-end automotive retailer where he worked and fired over posts his employer saw on “revenge porn” site TheDirty.com.
The posts called Lazarus “creepy” and alleged that he “would have sex/rape fat chicks just to amuse his friends.”
On Wednesday, Mathew filed suit in Harris County District Court on Lazarus’ behalf. The documents in the case include dozens of text messages Lim reportedly sent to one of Lazarus’ friends calling the ex-Marine a “rapist, liar and cheater” and said he gave her sex toys as gifts instead of flowers.
“I don’t know what she’s talking about. I certainly didn’t mail her any sex toys,” Lazarus said.
Mathew told the Chronicle that he has handled a few “revenge porn” cases in his career, but this is his first where the victim was male.
“There’s no way Joe Lazarus can defend himself against these baseless allegations,” Mathew said to Chron.com. “”If anybody finds themselves in a similar situation and I encourage them to speak out and find legal representation. Everybody has the right to be left alone. That’s all Joe Lazarus is asking, it to be left alone.”
In a statement to LawNewz.com, Mathew said, “The right to be left alone is just an important right as the right to own property or be free from confinement. All Joseph Lazarus is asking is to be left alone. Unfortunately, this woman has made his life a living nightmare and ruined his reputation. Hopefully she’ll be held accountable for what she’s done to Joseph Lazarus and for what she’s taken away from every single actual victim of sexual assault with her false allegations.”