A man is trying to fight a judge’s order to remove a blog that he used to talk trash about his former spouse for the past four years, citing his right to free speech.
Anthony Morelli started writing about the bitter divorce proceedings and child-custody battle between him and his wife in 2007 through a blog called ThePsychoExWife.com. He said he was using the site as a medium to vent his frustrations, but soon his readers began to discuss the similar experiences they were going through on the site. As readership grew — Morelli said the blog received 200,000 views a month — he added forums and even sold ad space.
Morelli and his ex-wife have joint custody of their two children, who are 10 and 12. Although she and the children were never named on the blog, Family Court Judge Diane Gibbons ordered in June that Morelli close the site and banned him from mentioning the three in public.
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On the blog, Morelli doesn’t hold back on denigrating his ex, calling her a “f—ing psycho” and a “black-out drunk.” Gibbons has called Morelli’s criticism “abusive” towards the children. “Your children are being hurt because you are bad mouthing the woman they love in public,” the judge said to him. “Should I put them with the man who is publicly browbeating their mother?”
But Morelli, who says the site has become a valuable resource for others going through divorces, is fighting the court order on the grounds that it violates his First Amendment rights and the 14th Amendment. The original blog has been taken down, but he has started a new site called Save ThePsychoExWifeBlog.com, which includes details of the appeal and solicits donations to help with legal fees.
The new site argues, “The existence of the website, in and of itself, has no affect on [Morelli's] children. It would forever remain so, provided both parents monitor the children’s computer usage as any good parent should.” As if.