An attorney representing Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli has sent cease-and-desist letters to numerous blogs and websites that published the claims of a man who says he had a longterm sexual relationship with professional footballer, Outsports reports.
"Your blog is replete with defamatory statements as it relates to Mr. Mughelli," the letter says. "If you do not cease and desist immediately, we will have no alternative but to seek an immediate permanent injunction and sue you for damages for defamation and false light. Under the law, you and your company are liable for defamatory and false statements. You and your company have continuously published and/or posted stories and/or comments that allege that Mr. Mughelli is a homosexual and is or was involved in a homosexual affair with a man. As you are aware, making libelous and defamatory statements are punishable by law and subject to monetary damages and punitive relief. Accordingly, in an action for defamation, Mr. Mughelli is not required to show that you posted the story and/or comments with a malicious intent. The fact that you posted this story and these comments at all is sufficient to subject you to liability and civil damages."
The letter demands the removal of all blog posts relating to the story and a retraction. Several blogs have complied with the C&D.
On January 5, the Atlanta-based gossip blog MissJia.com published a detailed but unsubstantiated account of a man's long-term, alleged sexual relationship with an unnamed Falcons player. The next day Mughelli was named by the blog. The blog later published a video of Francois Sloan, a 36-year-old Jersey City, NJ hair stylist who claimed to be the source. Outsports reports MissJia says as of January 15, the site had not received the C&. The story remains live on her blog.
The Ovie Mughelli "outing" went viral across black entertainment and news blogs, most of the black gay blogosphere and many sports blogs. It was not reported on Rod 2.0.
The 29-year-old Mughelli was originally drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2003. He was selected second-team All-Pro in 2006. Mughelli signed a six-year, $18 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons in 2007. That's around the same time that Francois Sloan claims Mughelli abruptly ended their relationship.