Jacqueline Sperling has a special place in her heart for a lawyer named Madeleine Flannagan. As I’ve noted previously, she’s blogged obsessively about the dispute she created with her, and has produced as part of that obsession a screed of lies and harassment that is pretty hard to brush under the carpet.
But it seems in all this that people are finding it hard to get the big picture. So I’m writing this post to introduce new readers to the saga. It is of course not a complete telling and simplifies many aspects.
I’ve included links to posts made so far here. Over time this post will include more links to various aspect of the story so people can check for themselves the truth of the various aspects and claims made.
Jackie Sperling was originally a fleeting friend and confidant of Ms Brown, who took pity on her after the media coverage of her breakup with Michael Laws. Ms Brown had some personal issues (exacerbated by her guilt over a brief indiscretion with a married man) which cascaded into an emotional breakdown. Jackie, instead of being a supportive friend, abused Ms Brown and blogged publicly about her problems and subsequent suicide attempt. Ms Brown asked Jackie to remove the posts, but this only made things worse. Madeleine Flannagan, who knew Ms Brown and had met Sperling (as all 3 were originally bloggers) stepped in and tried to persuade Jackie Sperling to stop the harassment. Her efforts were not successful
Later, Ms Brown became involved with another man (Sperling claims he was married – not true) and this relationship eventually broke up (not helped by Sperling’s interference). Her now former partner was an old acquaintance of Sperling’s, and Sperling encouraged him to confide in her about the relationship. Result: more blogging, even more nasty than before. Madeleine, who had now been admitted to the bar and was acting for Ms Brown on a Family Court matter relating to this man, spoke to Sperling regarding her latest blog posts (she had blogged on the Family Court matter – a big no-no legally as FC proceedings are private), and her fresh defamation of Ms Brown. If the material was removed no further action would be taken.
Incidentally, Ms Brown’s former partner also requested on several occasions that Sperling stop blogging about Ms Brown and their relationship break-down; to no avail.
Sperling’s response was to immediately post on her blog that “the lawyer involved” was a drug addict, and she contacted Madeleine’s employer to make sure also read the post. She has since admitted contacting Madeleine’s employer, but claims that this was to check if the threat of legal actions was normal.
Madeleine then filed a lawsuit to get the defamatory claims taken down. This provoked Sperling into an orgy of posts, claiming victim-hood and persecution by rich lawyers. She also deleted and edited many of her old posts in order to appear more innocent to her readers, claiming for example that she had never named Madeleine and Ms Brown when she had done so on several occasions,including one occasion where she addressed Ms Brown by her full name and explicitly told her to attempt suicide again.As the affidavits were filed, she posted selected quotes so as to present a false picture of the lawsuits, and made many false and misleading claims about that which she did post. To this day, she does not admit the true nature of the lawsuit on her blog, nor that she was entitled to legal aid to fight it.
Meanwhile, the media read Wonderful Now and wrote a story based on Jackie’s postings.
At one stage she claimed she was ready to settle, and had her partner (a struck off lawyer) negotiate while she wrote more defamatory posts. She then bitterly complained about how her offer had been rejected, and how ridiculous the offers that were made to her were.
When the application for a restraining order finally made it to court, the Judge was scathing of Jackie’s conduct. He found no evidence at all that anything Jackie had said about Madeline was true. He rejected outright her affidavit, which was really written only for her blog readers to maintain the fiction of victim-hood. He however read Jackie’s latest blog post claiming she’d removed everything (she hadn’t) and was angst filled about her behaviour (she wasn’t – just the consequences). By this time, Madeline’s employment status was perfectly stable as her employer had seen ample evidence of Jackie’s state of mind!
He found 14 counts of harassment on Jackie’s part, and all but one criteria met for making a restraining order. He urged Sperling to stop and move on.
Sperling then declared complete vindication to her readers and put all the posts back up. She has since published more defamatory (and sometimes outright crazy) posts including Madeline’s husband’s bank account details (submitted for the lawsuit) and many claims that Madeline is an incompetent lawyer (which the trial judge rejected explicitly in his judgement). She has refused to post the decision, or even acknowledge that it states clearly that she is the aggressor, but has posted several out of context quotes from it.
She has also placed frivolous complaints to the law society against all the lawyers involved, including Simon Buckingham, forcing them to spend time and energy defending themselves.
During this time, both Madeline Flanagan and Ms Brown have said almost nothing publicly. They have had their reputations attacked repeatedly, and without any basis.
Legal action is continuing in various forms by various parties. There has also been considerable concern that someone of Sperling’s character and habits is studying counselling – but with proper scrutiny it is unlikely that she will be allowed to practice.
This post is about Jacqueline (Jackie) Sperling, and is part of an ongoing series discussing her ongoing campaign of harassment and lies against lawyer Madeleine Flannagan, lawyer Simon Buckingham, and Ms Brown (her original target for harassment), as well as The Narrative – the alternate reality she presents on her blog in which she pretends to be the victim of her targets. You can read a court decision that outlines her campaign and the court’s assessment of The Narrative here. Please do not place abusive comments on her blog, phone her, or approach her or her family as she will blame this on her victims.