By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, April 6, 2006
Bad day for former Capitol Hill sex blogger Jessica Cutler, as a federal judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit against her by an ex-boyfriend who claims she humiliated him in her explicit online diary.
The ruling means that what may be the most ironic invasion-of-privacy claim ever could soon spill its lurid details in a local courtroom, assuming you're still panting for more. Cutler -- whose widely circulated "Washingtonienne" blog caused her to lose her low-level Senate job but win book and TV deals -- never disclosed the full names of her paramours online, so former Hill aide Robert Steinbuch's identity as one of her lovers was not widely known until he filed the suit against her last year.
Steinbuch, now an assistant professor of law at the University of Arkansas, alleges that Cutler's blog posts about their sex life caused "severe emotional distress, humiliation, embarassment and anguish." He's seeking unspecified damages. His lawyer did not return repeated calls for comment yesterday.
Cutler said she could not comment on the case. Her attorney, John Umana, downplayed the significance of the decision. He noted that Judge Paul L. Friedman, while allowing the case to proceed, noted that Steinbuch may have missed the one-year statute of limitations -- most of Cutler's blog entries about "RS" went online more than a year before he filed suit. Also, Umana said, the judge noted that "he's the one who identified himself by name in the complaint."
If it's all making your head hurt -- well, you're not the only one. D.C. media lawyer Alice Neff Lucan notes that Cutler's defense rests in part on the argument that her blog couldn't have invaded Steinbuch's privacy . . . because their colleagues already knew about their affair. "Yuck," she said. "This might be one of those cases where bad cases make bad law."Mikulski: High on the Hog, and the Terps
Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski -- all 4 feet 11 inches of her -- was walking tall after her beloved Terps defeated Duke in the women's NCAA basketball national championship Tuesday night. Mikulski spent yesterday in a Terps hat and a state flag for her victory lap around the Senate -- and cashed in big time on her bet with North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole.
The two women had wagered on Sunday's semifinal game between the University of Maryland and the University of North Carolina: crab cakes pitted against barbecue. When the Terps beat the Tar Heels and advanced to the final against that other North Carolina team, the bet went double or nothing.
Yesterday, Dole personally delivered barbecue, buns, cole slaw and hush puppies to 503 Hart -- enough for the staffs of both senators -- and toasted Mikulski with sweet tea. And Mikulski shared the secret of success when she introduced a Senate resolution honoring the team: "And, by the way, you should know -- in order to be in the Final Four, you've gotta have a woman senator here." She concluded with: "Mr. President, I yield the floor, but I will not yield that championship next year."Love, Etc.
Have they learned nothing? Rapper Eminem filed for divorce yesterday from his wife, Kim -- just three months after they remarried. After a bitter divorce and custody battle, the couple announced they were reconciling and retied the knot Jan. 14. Love was not lovelier the second time around, and papers were filed in Michigan's Macomb County under the singer's real name, Marshall Bruce Mathers III, his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press. All the making of another hit album, we're guessing.Hey, Isn't That . . . ?
Laurence Fishburne wining and dining his way through Washington. The actor, in town promoting "Akeelah and the Bee," dropped by Cafe Milano Tuesday night with a pal for duck prosciutto, pasta with seafood and a bottle of Tuscan red wine. The party of two moved on to Oya for after-dinner drinks; Fishburne, in jeans and a sport coat, topped off the night with two "Dark and Stormy" cocktails: dark rum with lemon, lime, ginger beer and a splash of syrup.