Ex-candidate for governor is asked to list sexual partners

In November, four months after he was culled from the Republican race for governor, Ray McBerry filed a libel suit against a Henry County woman for referring to him, on a Facebook page, as a “child molester” during the campaign.

Several years earlier, Linda Pittman of Hampton, Ga., had lodged a complaint against McBerry – then a high school history teacher – for having an improper relationship with her 16-year-old daughter. McBerry, who admitted giving the young girl a cell phone for private chats, quickly quit his teaching position and was later sanctioned by the state.

The operators of a southwest Georgia political blog were also named in the McBerry suit – which may be one of the first in the state to challenge Internet-based political speech.

Pittman has now filed her answer to the lawsuit, drawn up by Atlanta attorney Emmet Bondurant, the former chairman of Common Cause of Georgia.

“All statements of opinion made by Mrs. Pittman of and concerning Ray McBerry and his qualifications and fitness for public office are absolutely privileged and immune from legal liability under the First Amendment,” the answer declares, in part.

In addition:

“Essentially the same facts had been previously published to a state-wide audience by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as well as in several other publications, and were well known in the community, so that Mrs. Pittman’s statements caused no additional damage to Ray McBerry’s reputation[,] which was already bad.”

More important, Pittman’s lawyer served notice that he intends to delve deeply into McBerry’s private life. The former candidate for governor, who ran on a “states’ rights” platform, has been asked to provide a list of all those with whom he has enjoyed a “physically intimate, romantic, or sexual relationship.”

Another demand:

“Identify all instances in which you have been accused of any kind of sexual misconduct. For each such instance, identify the person(s) who accused you, the date of the misconduct, and the nature of the misconduct.

“To be clear, this interrogatory seeks information regarding all allegations of sexual misconduct, even if you contend that the allegation is without merit or untrue. Moreover, for the purposes of this interrogatory[,] there is no time limit. It is intended to cover your entire life.”

And this:

“List all telephone numbers (including mobile phones) and e-mail addresses you have used to communicate with anyone over the past two years. For mobile phones, include the carrier and state whether you sent or received any text messages using such phone(s).”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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34 comments Add your comment

tom watson

January 3rd, 2011
4:26 pm

If only there wasn’t an assaulted girl in the middle of this, I would be enjoying the ongoing McB hijinx.

Jeff Sexton

January 3rd, 2011
4:31 pm

Just FYI: Tom Knighton, another co-defendant, will be filing his response later this week. I have until Jan 17 to file mine.

ProgressivePeach

January 3rd, 2011
4:38 pm

Shocked the GOP went for the crook rather than the child molester.

Retired Soldier

January 3rd, 2011
4:40 pm

Peach-

Please remind me for I am of feeble mind. What court has convicted Deal?

ProgressivePeach

January 3rd, 2011
4:49 pm

Not a court, but the House Ethics Committee, which rarely does little more than slap members on the wrist.

just peachy

January 3rd, 2011
5:28 pm

Speaking of our crooked governor; had he not retired when he did he would have faced a court retired soldier. If you read the report it was clear as day but alas it’s better to have a bankrupt unethical GOP governor than it is to have a Democrat, right? I voted GOP in the primary until Deal won the runoff the all bets were off for me and I sleep very soundly at night knowing I didn’t put that crook in office.

Albert

January 3rd, 2011
5:31 pm

Sorry PP, The house ethics committee never ruled on Deal.

Retired Soldier

January 3rd, 2011
5:45 pm

Just-

If you are correct, please take your facts to the GBI, attornry general or to the D.A. If you aren’t willing to do that, then you ought to hush.

Georgia Blue

January 3rd, 2011
6:30 pm

just peachy,

Retired Soldier is right!

We should all just HUSH UP and watch how Gov. Deal turns $4mil/debt into the plus column on his $135K/yr salary in an ethical manner, without abusing his position nor the public trust whatsoever, nor by showing any favoritism toward those who want to help him turn his history of poor financial decision making around. How long do we think that will take? Two years? Five, maybe? After all, he believes in hard work! Well, for you and me and our kids. Some kids are special, and should not have to learn a business from the ground up, nor save up their money to start one, nor pay for it when it goes bust! That’s what good lawyers and banker friends are for. Gov. Deal will lead by example, I’m sure. (He’s a husband! He’s a father!) We’re going to learn SO MUCH from him! Yay!

[...] Republican Ray McBerry, a two-time failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate, saw his pending libel suit against a campaign adversary complicated this week when he was asked to provide a list of partners with whom he has partaken in “physically intimate, romantic, or sexual relationship[s].”The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:More… [...]

Nemesis

January 3rd, 2011
6:46 pm

McBerry should have left this can of worms on the shelf. But he does not strike me as the brightest bulb in the bunch.

mike

January 3rd, 2011
7:33 pm

Don’t you just love it when the goobers stick up for the most unethical people in the state. Is Georgia one of those states where it does not matter what corrupt things you have done. Oh that’s right. That is what qualifies a person to hold office in Georgia. I guess now ole Deal can get that road paved among other things.

henry county mom

January 3rd, 2011
9:35 pm

lock up your daughters, especially the middle school ones.why does mcscarry still have his election signs up? does he still think the race is still ongoing?

Political Potpourri. — Peach Pundit

January 3rd, 2011
10:57 pm

[...] Ex-candidate for governor is asked to list sexual partners [...]

cs

January 4th, 2011
1:07 am

hell, aint no way i could possibly remember all the sluts er…true loves… i slept with throughout my life. talk about an idiotic finding expedition.

UGA75

January 4th, 2011
1:23 am

I am not a McBerry Supporter, but if someone made such a statement about me in any type of print, I’d sure as hell have to sue them. If it were a man instead of a woman I’d challenge them to a duel which is outlawed but would correct a lot of BS people toss around about each other and also help with population control. For example I know for a fact that Peach Progressive is a gay Russian Cosmonaut. He assuming it is a he, should have the right to demand at least an apology or lets settle it with Pistols, Knives or Swords, and I’m serious. Winning a suit doesn’t help anything, the sued person just declares bankruptcy. Our ancestors had this right, slander or libel someone at the risk of your own life and people would be more careful of their words.

SCV Watcher

January 4th, 2011
2:40 am

Can’t wait to see what Civil War fan McBerry digs’ to be HIS lawyer. You know, the problem with McBerry is that 1862 laws just don’t apply in today’s world.

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports: “In November, four months after he was culled from the Republican [primary] race for [...]

Michael

January 4th, 2011
5:38 am

Mcberry is a “public figure” and public figures never win these lawsuits. Pittman’s attorney, Bondurant, is renown and powerful so I guess she isn’t just some poor person without access to lawyers. Maybe Obama paid for her lawyer. (Georgians go for stupid conspiracy theories, the stupider the better).

John

January 4th, 2011
5:44 am

SCV: McBerry’s lawyer, Todd Harding, is a named partner of Maddox and Harding of Griffin. The other named partner is none other than State Rep Billy Maddox (R-Zebulon).

Bill Orvis White

January 4th, 2011
8:08 am

This is a hatchet job. The Honorable Ray McBerry is a distinguished history scholar whose morals and character have been unfairly attacked in the mainstream print, television and radio media. I pray that Mr. McBerry does not have to answer to the false charges by providing very private information. This is a travesty and something from the book, “1984.”

THE only reason Mr. McBerry is going through this is because he has politically incorrect ideas that are far out of synch with the mainstream media and the far left urban elite politicians throughout the state.

I’m praying for you, Mr. McBerry.

Likewise with your future governor, Mr. Deal. Just like Mr. McBerry, the far left unfairly attacks him. Neither gentleman has been convicted and already, I see posters and members of the media hanging both good men out to dry.

Amen,
Bill

Capitol Avenue Cal

January 4th, 2011
8:10 am

Of course the First Amendmemnt does NOT protect libel; you can’t just say anything with impunity. It remains to be seen whether her statements amount to “libel.”

Jenny Hodges

January 4th, 2011
10:20 am

The irony of a liberty candidate persecuting the people who sought to give voice to allegedly victimized women is one for the books. I am exceedingly pleased that the ass has picked a fight with a farmer accustomed to restraining this sort of nonsense. But there is no beating this ass into the submission of the harness. He must be destroyed entirely. I’ve never met with such total and complete narcissism in my life. For my family, a quiet exodus was best at the time, because I was convinced and still am that the truth always prevails but must be allowed to progress at its own pace. People believe what they want to believe rather than where the facts clearly point.

Hopefully, this time, the many good people of Georgia who put their hopes, money and hard work into a candidate who promised a return to liberty, will recognize that though they were deceived, his campaign gave them an opportunity to find one another. The only real tragedy will be if that opportunity is allowed to go to waste.

For Life and Liberty,
~Jenny

Jeff Sexton

January 4th, 2011
11:19 am

Jenny, I’ve lost your number. Call me pls. :D

ROBOCOP

January 4th, 2011
11:20 am

Hey, Bill Orvis White, it was McBerry who started this by suing this Pittman lady for telling the truth about McBerry’s actions with her daughter. McBerry opened himself up to just the kind of questions he’s going to have to respond to. I love how you thought it was a good thing that McBerry was going to sue this lady, and now that he did, you don’t like the fact he’s got to respond to legitimate questions her lawyers can compell him to answer. Put your Bible down for a few minutes and read the civil law. I think McBerry screwed himself royally and, if he loses the suit, he’ll be paying attorneys fees to the people he falsely sued and for other court costs. It couldn’t happen to a nicer pervert. By the way, Billy Boy, why did McBerry’s good Christian wife leave him if she thought the charges were false? Hmmm?

SCV Watcher

January 4th, 2011
11:29 am

Bill Orvis White sounds like the kind of guy who would look the other way if a man was beating a woman in public. After all, “it sez so in that there Bible that woman shall be a servant to Man.”

Concerned Southern Conservative

January 4th, 2011
1:03 pm

“he doesn’t strike me as the brightest bulb in the bunch.”

Nemesis, actually McBerry is quite bright. But he seems to not perceive himself or his situation the way others do. Jenny speculated as to a term we might use to describe this. I’ll let that suffice.

My concern is and has always been that the allegations against McBerry not be used to attempt to discredit the cause of States’ Rights, constitutional originalism, enumerated powers, etc. that McBerry was championing. Those issues rise or fall based on the historical record, not the travails of Ray McBerry.

Tired of BS

January 4th, 2011
2:17 pm

McBerry is a sick individual.

Jenny Hodges

January 4th, 2011
10:37 pm

Hi, Jeff. You might want to email me a reminder, but I’ll make a point to call you tomorrow. :-) Or you could call into my radio show and chat.

[...] 9. Former Ga GOP gubernatorial candidate, Ray McBerry is in some public sex-drama again. [...]

Phillip

January 5th, 2011
4:44 pm

Anyone who knows anything about how lawyers work and the least bit about this case can see through these tactics mentioned in this article.  The attorney for the defendant knows that Mr. McBerry is not a child molester; I remember reading Jeff Sexton online admitting that he knew that Mr. McBerry had not, after one of Jeff’s friends pointed it out to him.  I’m sure the attorneys on both sides have all seen that.  So the defense attorney is hoping that Mr. McBerry will not pursue the case if he harasses him enough.  But there’s no judge in Georgia that is going to allow someone to have access to someone else’s personal information that is unrelated to the case.  If the defense doesn’t come up with names and details involved in child molestation (which they can’t), this case is likely to be the fastest decision ever handed down by a jury.
 
This is a textbook libel case.  And for those who think that Mr. McBerry being a public figure allows others to libel him, you’re going to be surprised when this gets to trial.  These dishonest people have accused him of committing a felony which is one of the reasons that the courts have given for libel being a libel per se case, meaning that damages are already assumed.

As for Jenny Hodges, you should know about being a narcissist. when I heard you speak once for Ray McBerry during his campaign you spent at least half of the forty minutes talking about yourself. Mr. McBerry promoted you more than any other statewide candidate has ever done for a campaign manager — much to his demise. The true constitutionalists in the Georgia Republican Party are glad to have you gone from our state; you did more to alienate good people than any candidate.

Lover of Truth

January 5th, 2011
9:25 pm

Phillip, you are talking about something you don’t know. Jenny believed in Ray McBerry and worked tirelessly for him. She is thoroughly right. You don’t know as much as you think. You only know the persona presented and exceedingly well protected. I am sure her ‘exodus’ was very graceful. Please do not accuse what you don’t really know.

Phillip

January 5th, 2011
9:48 pm

@ Lover: To the contrary, I heard Jenny Hodges myself on two different occasions speaking for Ray McBerry’s campaign and both times that I heard her she spent at least half the time talking about herself and her own ideas. I heard others remark afterward, too, about how weird it was that she was there to represent her boss and spent the whole time talking about herself. And as much as she says she’s pro-life (which I assume she is), there is not a person in the entire pro-life community in Georgia who wants anything to do with her, including Georgia Right to Life. She’s an ego-centric person if ever there was one. And for her to accuse McBerry of that when he promoted her to a fault through his campaign is ironic to say the least. His biggest fault was not firing her long before he did.

Lover of Truth

January 5th, 2011
9:54 pm

Maybe so… He is not innocent and “has no regrets”… He is an excellent speaker and believes what he says. He will not be found out because that would be costly for others who believed him.