Even when you try to stay far away from social media, it can still come back to bite you. Indie director Vincent Gallo learned that recently, according to a lawsuit he filed Monday in federal court.
Gallo, director of “Buffalo 66” and “The Brown Bunny,” says that someone has been impersonating him on Facebook, even duping an ex-girlfriend into sending naked pictures. What’s more, he says that when he complained to Facebook two months ago, the social network did nothing. The account, vincent.gallo.927, is still active.
Gallo says he guards his privacy and does not have any social media accounts. Earlier this year, he began hearing from friends about his Facebook page. Gallo discovered that an impostor had set up an account and friended 3,000 people, including many of his actual friends. The impostor also engaged in Messenger chats with several women, flirting with them and trying to lure them to meet with him.
According to the suit, the impostor also struck up a sexual conversation with Gallo’s ex-girlfriend — “a well-known international model” — in which he sent a nude photo from the waist down. The ex-girlfriend responded with nude photos of her own. She also made arrangements to travel to Europe to meet with him. At the last moment, he backed out. The ex-girlfriend became suspicious “and discovered, to her horror and embarrassment, that Doe 1 was in fact, not Mr. Gallo,” the suit states.
Facebook provides a form for users to complete if they are victims of spoof accounts. According to the suit, Gallo filed a complaint and got an automated response, stating that Facebook was unable to verify his identity. Gallo sent scanned photos of his ID, but Facebook took no action, the suit alleges.
“They were put on notice and they just refuse to take action,” Gallo’s attorney, Joe Costa, tells Variety. “I’m not aware of any situation in which there have been communications with Facebook on more than one occasion and they failed to take any action.”
Gallo is suing for misappropriation of his likeness, trademark violations, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.