Patricia Cornwell sues cyber bully

Best selling crime writer Patricia Cornwell is suing another author for libel claiming his internet smear campaign is destroying her reputation and has stifled her creative flow.

Lots of bloggers may sail close to the wind, but are  hopefully aware of the laws regarding online defamation. However, it seems Leslie R Sachs has repeatedly overstepped the mark.

The whole case is very bizarre, and like Rachel from North London, Cornwell’s life has been made a misery by her cyber bully.

Cornwell wants a judge to prevent Sachs from writing about her on the internet. Sachs did not appear in a recent court hearing, claiming that he was living in Europe. He calls himself a refugee who fears for his life because of Cornwell’s alleged hatred and power.

Cornwell also claims that she fears for her safety because of Sachs’ writings, which call her “a Jew-hater,” “a neo-Nazi,” and “a felon.” She said Sachs’ behavior has damaged her reputation, threatened her ability to research, and stifled her creative process.

Their conflict began after Sachs accused Cornwall of copying his book The Virginia Ghost Murders, a paperback published in 1998. Sachs began writing to publishers, placing stickers on his own book, and using the Web to criticize Cornwell after she published The Last Precinct two years later.

So the forthcoming Conservative Women’s Organisation’s forum on cyber bullying is very well timed. I would like to see a legal expert  join their panel of speakers, Tim Loughton, Shadow Minister for Children; Louise Burfitt-Dons, an expert on bullying; and Niki Molnar, web designer. The forum is being held on Tuesday, 26 June and is open to anyone interested – men too, and you don’t  have to be a committed Conservative either. Contact Elaine Hall for further info on

What’s so awful about this is the sheer helplessness when defamatory comments are being spread this way. A person’s good reputation is priceless. It has happened to me to a much lesser degree and I felt devastated, hoping nobody would believe a word of those spiteful and vindictive lies.

At the end of the day, it is the law and court action that must be enforced rigorously to stop these most intensive and distressing cases of cyber bullying.


  1. You know, this just proves how difficult it is to stop someone from doing this kind of things. Patricia Cornwell can afford good lawyers and fight back and still, even for her, it’s almost impossible to stop this kind of stalking.

    One can only imgaine how difficult it is if you can’t afford a lawyer for example.

    My heart goes out for Patricia Cornwell and for anyone who has ever been stalked by some cyber-bully. I wish Cornwell and everyone else in that same situation all my best and hope that you’ll be able to fight back and stop the cyber-stalking.

    I’ve posted some new stuff to my blog, if someone is interested. Comments are welcome. 🙂


  2. Sachs is obviously a complete nutter – but she should sue him for libel and defamation I think.

  3. Sandy

    Ellee, thank you for your comment on my blog. 🙂

    To kind of comment on Tom’s reply I would like to point out that even though Ms. Cornwell is indeed a “toughie”, I’m sure she would have stopped Sachs from saying these horrible things about her years ago if it would be possible.

    As far as I know Sachs has been doing this for almost, what, seven years now?

    Somebody pointed out that maybe Sachs telling those horrible things about Cornwell in the Internet is the reason that Cornwell’s books aren’t as good as the earlier ones were.

    I’m not going to comment on the quality because I’ve liked all of Cornwell’s books, but I do admit that some of them are better than others.

  4. Tom, It did cross my mind that Cornwell is a “toughie” and should be able to cope with this. But it seems she has had enough and reached breaking point, unable to continue working. If it is something that happens once or twice, maybe you can shrug it off and do your best to ignore it, but I think this case goes much deeper and more frequently than that and I don’t see why Cornwell should have to continue taking this abuse, she surely deserves the same kind of respect as other professional women.

  5. I knew a man who, as a cabin boy on the RMS Carpathia, pulled survivors and corpses from the sea after the wreck of the Titanic. Later he was left for dead on the battlefield at the Somme. He survived after being pulled off the cartload of corpses he had been thrown onto and operated on with a bayonet and a whisky anaesthetic.

    Later still he lost a son in tragic circumstances and lost his voice to throat cancer. To cut a long comment short, many things happened to him any one of which would have modern Brits in therapy or whingeing for someone (always someone else) to “do something” about their problems – and to hell with what problems that “something” creates for others.

    This man lived his whole life in poverty (when he and his wife died, my wife and I realised they had given us half their life savings as a wedding present). He was the happiest person I ever knew and rightly so, because he was well-loved by his family, friends and neighbours for his authentic kindness (i.e. quietly doing things for people, as opposed to wittering on about “caring”).

    How he would laugh to see what wimps the British have become, with their “vulnerability” and their fear of “cyber-bullying.”

    You make a lot of claims on our sympathies, Ellie, but this one goes too far. Ms Cornwell is far from being “helpless”, she is a prosperous woman with good lawyers and draconian libel laws to “protect” her from someone who seems rather more sad than fearsome. You can expect to see this pathetic man bankrupted for his sins. Is that the “something” that “should be done?”

    Whatever happened to “sticks and stones will break my bones” etc.? Cornwell should pull herself together, put her “problems” in perspective and enjoy her finite life. So, frankly, should most Brits. We are a nation with serious problems, drifting thoughtlessly into a police state while twittering on about the emotional well-being of D list celebrities. Being in Britain now is like living on a daytime TV chat show.

  6. Sandy

    I totally agree that Sachs has indeed crossed the line. It’s not funny and it also seems to me that he himself has started to believe in his lies. Maybe this whole thing started out as a “joke”. As a BAD joke.

    Please visit my blog

    if you’re interested in reading more thoroughly about my thoughts on this. Feel free to comment! Thank you.

    Hopefully someone would be able to stop Sachs’ cyber-stalking. It’s outrageous how someone can do such damage and then just walk out and continue doing it from another country.

  7. I hope that the discussions at the forum look at the bullying of adults as well as children. Many vulnerable adults rely on the internet as their way of communicating with the outside world and cyber bullying just adds to their vulnerability.

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