THROKLEY, WILLFITZ & GOIES LLP
Re: Timothy Carey/J.J. Grandville Article
Dear Editors of the Chicago Repeater:
As Timothy Carey and J.J. Granville informed you earlier this week, Throkley, Willfitz & Goies LLP, represents Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville. We write to support Mr. Carey’s and Mr. Grandville’s——rightful——concerns with the Chicago Repeater’s threatened publication of an article. The threat to publish the current draft provided to Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville constitutes an anticipatory breach of an unambiguous promise on which Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville relied made by the reporter——and for which you are responsible as a matter of law. Without that promise——the gist of which was that the article would not falsely attribute to Mr. Carey or convey that Mr. Carey sought to antagonize a stalker whom Mr. Carey properly fears, or detail intimate details of Mr. Grandville’s love life while Mr. Grandville was estranged from his wife——Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville would never have provided access, information and cooperation to the Chicago Repeater. You have now stated that you intend to publish precisely the type of story Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville said could not be published in exchange for access to them. If you follow through on your threat, you will be in violation of the law under Supreme Court precedent going back nearly 25 years. You will also——as you know——put a chronically ill man in physical danger and cast aspersions on the reputation of a universally-beloved pillar of Chicago’s art community. There really should be no need to do that. But because you have not yet agreed to remove the problematic and wholly unnecessary portions of the article, we write.
We urge you to think carefully about your actions before you publish.
The reporter of your story, Dimtry Samarov, approached Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville about doing a profile of them, their art, poetry, acting and music. Mr. Samarov expressed a desire to highlight Mr. Carey’s and Mr. Grandville’s work and to correct the egregious injustices perpetrated by various local and national media outlets over the past decade. These articles, stories, videos and multimedia presentations had cast Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville in a false light and——critically here——antagonized particular individuals. As a result Mr. Carey has lived in fear of his physical safety and Mr. Grandville has stopped enjoying the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed (and which he richly deserves due to his tireless efforts in service of art, poetry and the general uplift of the community.)
Accordingly, Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville agreed to participate in developing this story under specific conditions. For example, Mr. Carey has stated that any discussion of the stalker issue would have to come from an objective third-party perspective. Additionally, Mr. Grandville stipulated that no reference be made in the article to Mr. Grandville’s visits to massage parlors——be they of the happy- or sad-ending variety. Nor any mention of the frequency of said visits. To that end, Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville further conditioned their willingness to be interviewed by Mr. Samarov on the latter’s agreement to give absolute veto authority over specific content.
Mr. Samarov expressly agreed, in writing, to both Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville and their respective assistants, helpers and proxies, that he would not publish or post anything unless it was first approved by Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville. Critically, Mr. Samarov also promised that nothing would be attributed to Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville that was not Mr. Carey’s and Mr. Grandville’s own assertions. Only on these bases did Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville consent to the interview and their participation in writing the profile, including the use of Mr. Carey’s and Mr. Grandville’s artwork.
Repeatedly affirming the agreement, Mr. Samarov sent Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville multiple drafts of the profile that was to be submitted for publication for Mr. Carey’s and Mr. Grandville’s review. Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville reviewed the drafts which appeared to minimally comply with their conditions for participation. For example, the drafts did not refer to individuals by name, and did not attribute to Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville statements made by others.
After the profile was submitted to the Chicago Repeater, however, all promises were broken. Mr. Samarov provided Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville with a revised draft of the story that had been edited by the Chicago Repeater’s editorial staff. The editors were well aware of Mr. Carey’s and Mr. Grandville’s conditions for participation. Not only did the revised article identify individuals and locations by name, it falsely attributed statements made by third parties——including the opinions of psychiatrists, criminalists and social workers who have examined this situation——to Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville. This is but one example of misattribution in this story. Worse still, and to the complete horror of Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville, Mr. Samarov has announced that his editor had required him to contact certain individuals, that he had done so, and that these individuals had reacted negatively as Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville predicted and as any reasonable person would have anticipated.
Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville had placed the above clear and reasonable conditions on his participation because of the very real threat these individuals pose to them and those around them. The Chicago Repeater knew about Mr. Carey’s and Mr. Grandville’s intense and justifiable fear of these individuals. It knew that the reporter held himself out as acting for the Chicago Repeater. It knew the content of the promise. If the story is published with the individuals’ names included, or with any misattributed statements, you, the Chicago Repeater, Mr. Samarov and all other Chicago Repeater employees and agents involved with the writing and editing of this story will be breaching the clear agreement made with Mr. Carey and Mr. Grandville.
[more re legal, moral and financial consequences to Mr. Samarov et al to follow forthwith under separate cover…]