Kaitlyn Brown is one of the two plaintiffs who have filed a civil claim against Courtenay resident Willaim Robert Girdlestone for “deliberate and malicious campaign of defamation, harassment, and threats.”

Kaitlyn Brown is one of the two plaintiffs who have filed a civil claim against Courtenay resident Willaim Robert Girdlestone for “deliberate and malicious campaign of defamation, harassment, and threats.”

American Twitch gamers suing Courtenay man for alleged harassment

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include a response from the Comox Valley RCMP.

***

Two social media personalities from the United States have filed a lawsuit against a Courtenay man for what they claim is years of ongoing harassment online.

Plaintiffs Kaitlyn Brown and Sunni Son filed the civil claim against Courtenay resident William Robert Girdlestone on Feb. 11. Brown and Son are professional streamers on Twitch, a social media platform popular with gamers.

None of these accusations have been tested in court. The sequence of events detailed in the lawsuit are as follows:

Since at least 2017, Girdlestone has allegedly been engaged in a “deliberate and malicious campaign of defamation, harassment, and threats” against Brown and since at least November 2020 against Son.

Son and Brown say the threats included murder, a shooting and other measures against them and their families, such as “swatting” the women – which is when someone reports false information to police services in order to have SWAT teams dispatched to their homes.

Both Twitch users repeatedly blocked Girdlestone from their social media channels and reported his conduct to the various platform conduct authorities, but say he continues to reappear under new accounts.

Girdlestone was contacted on Dec. 18 by Son and Brown’s counsel, demanding that he cease and desist harassing them and publishing defamatory statements about them.

The document states that not only has he refused to comply, but he has escalated his campaign of harassment and defamation against the plaintiffs.

In an interview with Black Press prior to filing the claim, Brown said Girdlestone originally reached out to her in a Twitch chat room.

She said he gained access to her personal information by making a donation to her Twitch account, then immediately reversing the charges.

“In hindsight, I believe his purpose of that was just to gather my email,” she said. “Once he got that email, he knew what emails I have linked to my social accounts.”

Brown said the situation escalated quickly from that point.

“I called him out on it. I said I have a strict policy that says… you are donating for the purpose of entertainment only, and you are not receiving anything in return. And it was like a light switch flipped and he went off the rails.

“That was about five years ago. Ever since, (rarely has) a single day gone by when he has not bothered me. Maybe a few days, at max.”

Brown went to her local police station across the border, and eventually reached out to the RCMP.

In the meantime, she claims the correspondence with Girdlestone became threatening in nature.

“It got to death threats, him saying ‘I’m going to send anthrax in the mail to you; I’m going to devise a bomb and send it to you; I’m going to call the airline that you’re flying out of and tell them you have a bomb’ – which he claims he did. Once it got to that point, I just kept calling the RCMP and telling them they have to do something about it.”

Brown posted a YouTube video in November of 2020, titled “i’ve (sic) been stalked and harassed for 5 years,” describing her ongoing ordeal.

In the video, Brown takes aim at Comox Valley RCMP for being “absolutely incompetent” after making “about 30 phone calls to the Canadian police in Courtenay.”

“Ultimately, the explanation that all the police have given me is that it’s online and it’s not real, and (I) should just get off the internet and find another job. They’re not real threats; he’s not actually going to come and kill me. There’s nothing they can do because it’s across borders,” Brown said.

Comox Valley RCMP spokesperson, Const. Monika Terragni, said the local detachment is taking the allegations seriously.

“The Comox Valley RCMP Major Crime Unit is currently investigating these allegations of online threats and harassment – every investigation is unique in the challenges it presents,” she said in an email to Black Press. “The time required to complete an investigation is based on many factors, including; the nature and complexity of the allegations, the number of individuals involved, legal authorizations required to obtain evidence (search warrants), the number of witnesses that need to be interviewed as well as their availability and location. I can assure you that this is a very active investigation that has been moving forward since it was initiated.”

Efforts to contact Girdlestone, who has not filed a response in civil court as of Feb. 17, have been unsuccessful.

Brown and Son are seeking a restraining order, as well as compensation.

Girdlestone has 21 days to respond to the civil claim.

ALSO: Comox Valley RCMP seeking witnesses after a report of a man following an 11-year-old boy


terry.farrell@blackpress.ca
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Courtenaylawsuit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The 5th Street Bridge requires structural improvements, new coating to repair and prevent corrosion, and deck repairs. File photo
City of Courtenay awards contract for 5th Street Bridge project

The City of Courtenay has awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of… Continue reading

Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Gas prices jump in the Valley – and experts predict prices to rise even more

“We still could be talking about record prices…”

NIC Practical Nursing instructor Barb McPherson (right) is pictured with student Rebecca Wood in 2018 in NIC’s SIM lab. NIC photo
Learn about Practical Nursing opportunities for Island students

Students interested in exploring a future in health care are invited to… Continue reading

The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition is hoping to see more bike lines in the Cumberland area. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cycling coalition wants better bike links for Cumberland

Group says members want more connections with Comox Valley

The Courtenay Legion has identified 16 homeless veterans living in the Comox Valley. File photo
Courtenay Legion unites with Qualicum to help homeless veterans

Last year’s Point-in-Time (PIT) homeless count conducted in the Comox Valley identified… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Most Read