Friday, 20 December 2013

How Jeremy Duns Smears People

I have blogged here before about how the public school Twitter bully Jeremy Duns smears people.

But the threats he has made against this blogs are a perfect illustration of how he operates.

In August, Duns put up a post threatening legal action against this blog - you can read it here.

He also clearly implies that I am responsible for other sites that scrutinise his work, although without producing a shred of evidence that I have done so.

As well as the usual abuse he heeps on a mere woman who has the temerity to question him - 'pathethic' and 'vile' are two of the words he uses, living up to his usual standards of civilised debate - he specifically states that he is planning legal action.

He has done this before - for example on September 21, 2012, he wrote this as a comment -

"IlkleyChess (Gerard Killoran) is now explaining to me via email why this wasn't him. I'm all ears.

It makes little difference. If this blog is still here tomorrow morning I will take legal steps to find the IP of this and the other blog, and sue whoever is behind it for libel. If 'Maria James' *isn't* Gerard - and I find that extraordinarily hard to believe - he or she has of course not just defamed me but also brought Steve Roach into this against his will, and now apparently Mr Killoran. So if it isn't either of them, they may also want to sue.

Either way, I'll sue if it's still here tomorrow. Try me" - the link is here. 

On 15th September, 20112, he wrote this -

I do not know the IP address of this blog and other similarly names one - but Google will. If this blog is still here on Monday morning I will initiate the legal process to obtain the IP address of this blog on grounds of malicious falsehood and defamation. Whoever the IP belongs to - ie you - I will then sue." - the link is here.

So it is quite clear that Duns is accusing me of malicious falsehood, libel and defamation.

That is a very serious allegation to make. Malicious falsehood, for example, is  a criminal offence. So Duns is accusing me of a crime.

But when I called him out on it, and said I would correct any errors of fact I had made, he fell strangely silent.

Duns describes himself as journalist. In fact, the evidence for this is hard to find. According to this site, the last original article he wrote was in May 2011, and the one before that was in May 2009. I am not sure if writing two articles in four years allows you to describe yourself as a journalist. But anyway, if he is a qualified journalist the he must surely be familiar with the libel laws. These state very clearly that both truth and fair comment are defences against libel.

I challeneged Duns quite clearly to state any mistaken facts in my blogs, and said I would correct them. He could not do so, because it is all true. Unlike Duns, I check things carefully before writing them.

So why is he accusing me of libel when he has no case?

Why is he bullying and throwing around accusations he is not able to back back up?

Because all he is interested in doing is smearing people.

Time and time again, he makes aggressive allegations against people, without a shred of evidence to support them  - and this is just one more example. 

More and more people are starting to understand that public school bullies like Duns represent everything that is wrong with our society. If we stand up to him, we can change the world for the better.


  1. Christ, this is tedious. Don't you have anything better to do?

    I've actually pointed out several false allegations you've made, and you haven't corrected any of them. For example, just a few weeks ago you repeated someone's allegation that I have something to hide about my identity, posting two 'articles' demanding I reveal 'who I really am'. Just think - someone actually *searched birth records in Manchester for several decades looking for dirt on me*. Rather than think to yourself 'Wow, that is seriously creepy', or just asked me about it directly on Twitter or via email, in which case I could have explained it to you, you decided to air it all here, unchecked. It's the definition of smearing. I've now explained it to you in the comments here twice, and yet you haven't corrected it or apologised.

    That's just one of a string of examples. Most offensively, you've claimed I'm a misogynist and a rape and abuse denier. Your evidence for this was *someone else* making a comment on your website! Oh, and that I like an Ian Fleming novel. As I've explained, the idea that enjoying a novel means you endorse every thought or attitude the characters in it have is nonsense. Again, you haven't corrected or seriously addressed any of this. (You've also, despicably, claimed that other writers I know or admire are sexist, on the basis of serious misunderstandings and errors. You owe them apologies, too.)

    And so on. You smear, and every time I reply and correct you, you just wait a few days to come up with another one.

    I understand libel law well enough. If I can prove who you are, I'll certainly considering suing you for defamation, for all of the above and more on this vindictive little website and the one you set up before it mis-spelling my name like the professional human rights lawyer you so clearly aren't. The reason I haven't sued you is simply because I don't know who you are - because you're too cowardly to give me any real information about yourself. There is no Maria James or Emily James registered as a human rights laywer in the UK. I haven't smeared you by calling you pathetic. That's my opinion of you, after over a year of you harrassing me with this stalking, defamatory website.

    As for my being a journalist, once again you're making a false claim on the basis of about 30 seconds' 'research'. It's a simple matter for anyone who looks into it properly to see that I'm an author who writes both fiction and non-fiction, and that the latter includes journalism. My most recent book was long-form investigative journalism about the Cold War. In March, I wrote and presented a Radio 4 documentary - that was also journalism. Here's an accompanying article I wrote about it for the BBC's website: That was also journalism. I've written other journalism this year, but I can't be bothered to look it all up for you. Spend a few minutes doing it yourself and you'll see I'm right. Then you can correct it and apologize...

    Oh, silly me. Of course you won't. You'll wait a week and find something else to accuse me of. And you'll mention throughout that I went to a public school, as though people are going to be shocked to the heavens by that fact. (They won't be.)

    I'm not going to spend too much of my life on you, 'Maria'. I'm replying just in case there's anyone else still reading this site or who stumbles on it, simply to correct the record. But you're wasting your time, really. I'm hardly a saint, but I don't have anything to hide. I'll keep pointing out to you why you're wrong about me in the hope that eventually, one day, perhaps in 2024, it sinks in and you stop wasting your time trying to prove I 'represent everything that is going wrong with the world'. Because, honestly - I don't.

  2. Mr Duns can't seem to make up his mind who to attack, can he? To my knowledge he has already accused Gerald Kiloran, Stephen Leather and Steve Roach of being behind this blog. This seems to be his modus operandi, doesn't it? He attacks people based on more often than not a hunch and when proved wrong moves on to attack someone else. As for Mr Duns's lack of qualifications as a journalist, did you perchance see this?

  3. "someone actually *searched birth records in Manchester for several decades looking for dirt on me*"

    No someone spent about 5 seconds checking if there anyone had been born with the name Jeremy Duns.

  4. Brilliant reply by Steve Hildon. Duns can bluster all he likes - and unlike him I believe in freedom of speech so he is allowed to reply here - but the simply fact is that his tactics are starting to uncovered and more and more people are willing to stand up to his public school bullying.

  5. It is funny how Duns is so quick to complain about people using the internet to check up on him when its clear from his Twitter feed that he does exactly the same to anyone who criticises him. Funny too how he keeps saying he is going to ignore this blog but he never does. Keep up the good work, Maria!

  6. Thanks for your support Mandy. Fighting arrogant bullies like Duns is always hard work - but our numbers are growing.

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  8. 'Dariusblofeld': I've never claimed to have any qualifications as a journalist, or said or implied I have worked on staff at any British national newspaper, but perhaps you could explain to me what the dozens of articles I've written in the last 15 years or so were if they weren't journalism? Dentistry? Carpentry? It's a very strange thing to try to smear me with, because it can take anyone just a couple of minutes to find examples of my journalism. I've listed some examples above, as well on my website. You are right that I don't know who runs this website yet. They're smearing me while pretending to be a human rights lawyer called 'Maria James' or 'Emily James', but no such person exists. So it becomes quite tricky to put a stop to the smears. I'm not sure I've ever accused Stephen Leather of running this site, though it would hardly be a huge surprise considering his penchant for sockpuppeting.

    Stephen Hildon: I wasn't suggesting you spent decades researching me, but that you searched records that span several decades. A few weeks ago you tweeted 'according to an FT article he was born in Manchester but there has never been anyone with that name born in a England and Wales up to 2006'. I was born in 1973. The 1970s to the 2000s is several decades. And it took you more than five seconds to check this, too. Why did you, I wonder. It's an odd thing to check. I think you did it because you were angry with me for proving you wrong about something you had claimed to me on Twitter a few days earlier:

    Instead of admitting you were wrong or discussing the issues civilly like an adult, you decided you'd try to find some dirt on me and use that to put me in my place for having publicly proven you wrong. Didn't you? I can't imagine why you thought I'd lie about being a British citizen and didn't consider the myriad of common and unsinister reasons someone might have for their name having changed since birth, but it's rather pathetic that in response to losing an argument on Twitter (of your own choosing - you insisted on this point without researching it properly) you decided to research birth records in the hope of finding some dirt to attack me with. Amazing. It's also pretty pathetic that now that I've explained why your bizarre insinuations about your 'findings' on me were also wrong, you've decided not to apologize but instead to defend your sleazy approach.

    No doubt now you'll be even angrier with me for pointing this out, and go and try to find some more dirt. The thing is: I've nothing to hide. I guess you'll find some other way to cause mischief, though. Well, it's easier to smear people on the internet than engage with them on the issues as an adult - or ever admit fault.

    'Mandy Worthington': yes, I do sometimes research things online. Most people do. I don't think I've ever responded to losing an argument by looking up someone's birth records, though.

    Incidentally, how very similar you sound to Stephen Leather! In general tone, but also precise words. 'Keep up the good work, Maria' is something he has also written in the comments on this site:

    Well, I'm sure it's just an enormous coincidence, and that the growing numbers of people 'Maria' claims are willing to stand up to me being the source of all evil in the world aren't simply just someone who resorts to petty smears when they lose an argument on Twitter, and several sockpuppets of Stephen Leather.

  9. Duns is plain wrong. He claimed to be a journalist in defence of his decision to tape phone calls with Steven Roach. He said he was a journalist investigating a crime, and was therefore allowed to. Now he admits he has no qualifications and no mainstream experience. Just writing the occasional article does not make you a journalist and it is an insult to the people who have trained hard in that profession to say it does. As usually, Duns is twisting the truth and smearing people.

  10. Duns also claims he has never said this blog is the work of Stephen Leather. Has he not seen this - Perhaps he should ask his friend Steve Moseby if he knows who wrote it.

  11. No, 'Maria', you're wrong. I was acting as a journalist, investigating a story in the public interest: a well-known author, Stephen Leather, had cyber-bullied an unknown author online for over a year. We've been over a million times why it wasn't illegal for me to record a phone call, which I've never made available. I recorded it because I had good reason to believe that the moment I got off the phone Steve Roach would deny the entire conversation, and that the traditional legal defence of my having made contemporaneous notes of it would be very problematic if I was sued for defamation from Stephen Leather. I wanted incontrovertible evidence. If Leather ever sued me for falsely quoting Roach, I'd have the tape. Otherwise, I'd have no need for it. And it's lucky I did, because indeed the moment I got off the phone Roach denied having told me that Leather bullied him - because he was still scared of him. A few months later, when I showed Steve Roach how even after this was covered in the national press Leather was publicly mocking him on Facebook, Roach admitted publicly on Twitter that yes, Leather had bullied him and had continued to even after the story came out. Leather also lost his PCC complaint against the Observer.

    You started an earlier incarnation of this website, apparently, to protect Roach's honour. Ironically, you're now attacking me online in much the way Leather did Roach. It's well over a year since this happened, 'Maria'. Has it not occurred to you that you are the one smearing, defamaing and bullying? You started the site by repeatedly, and totally inaccurately, citing Press Complaints Commission guidelines. PCC regulations make it clear that recording a call is acceptable if pursuing a public interest story. They don't in any way state that one has to be on the staff of a national newspaper. That would rule out all local papers, trade magazines - and of course anyone operating freelance. Neither does one have to have a qualification in journalism to write articles, in the UK or elsewhere. Your last post here is full of admiration for Glenn Greenwald - he has no qualifications as a journalist whatsoever, but it hasn't stopped him being one. You seem to think that what you can find on one website in two minutes is all the journalism I've ever written. You're wrong. I was a full-time journalist before I published my first novel, and I've written quite a lot of journalism in the last five years, for a number of publications, including The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, Time Out, The Guardian, The Daily Beast and the BBC. My last book was also journalism. You can insist on this until you're blue in the face, but the facts are reasily available for anyone who looks. I'm afraid you have as much of a clue about how journalism works as you do human rights law, which is none.

    'As usually, Duns is twisting the truth and smearing people.' No, it's you twisting the truth, and you're smearing me to do it. You smear me in the very next comment you made above, in which you insinuated that I was somehow being dishonest about, that I either created that site or that Steve Mosby did and I know about it. I didn't create that website, and I have no idea who did. I very much doubt it was Steve Mosby. But perhaps you could enlighten me as to how this isn't a smear and the sort of false accusation you attack me for, and give your evidence for my havign either created that website, knowing who did create it, or that Steve Mosby did?

  12. 'Why is he bullying and throwing around accusations he is not able to back back up?'

    Come on, then. Where's your evidence I or Steve Mosby have any involvement with that website?

  13. I'm not behind that account, although I can see why someone might think so, as a number of the tweets do reference me.

    I can't prove it wasn't me, but I'd offer the following evidence that I wasn't. One, it references a lot of other people too; the author is clearly familiar with several targets of Leather's abuse. Two, I am hardly backward about coming forward, and I am quite happy to criticise Leather's behaviour openly, under my own name. Three, I wouldn't have written the ladyboy or cock tweets, as I don't think a person's sexuality is in any way relevant. (At most, I might have referenced prostitution). Four, I've never criticised Leather's writing, because I haven't read his professionally published novels. While I imagine the Spider novels to be simplistic and child-like, they may very well be profound works of genius. I have no way of knowing, and I don't actually care; my argument has only ever been with his behaviour as an individual, and the quality of his writing is irrelevant to that.

    As to who is behind the account/website, I suppose there are clues. The author makes reference to my and Leather's foreign sales, which perhaps suggests they have access to figures. And the first couple of tweets -

    "Mind you, if I don't attend that literary festival, I won't be able to hand out unsolicited advice on tax evasion to my fellow authors ... Or offer to buy other authors' discarded pages to pass off as my own. Or make an arse of myself on a panel."

    - strongly suggest the author was present at the Harrogate festival in 2012. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine.

    (steve mosby)