Friday, December 9, 2016

Stephanie O'Dear, ex wife and current partner of Missouri "Super Lawyer" Craig O'Dear of Bryan Cave, expresses dismay with Ashley Madison coverage

Stephanie O'Dear
(From Facebook)
Missouri "Super Lawyer" Craig O'Dear, of Bryan Cave's Kansas City office, has voiced displeasure with our reporting about his presence among paying customers of the Ashley Madison (AM) Web site. While never denying that he was on AM, O'Dear repeatedly referred to our post as "false and slanderous," claiming it "conveyed false impressions," and hinted at a lawsuit because publication of the post would be "legally actionable."

O'Dear did not stop there. He shared our communication with Stephanie Doolin O'Dear, his ex wife and current partner (they reunited, but apparently did not remarry in 2014), and she also has expressed her dismay with our reporting. Ms. O'Dear notes that she, like me, is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Perhaps that is where our connection is supposed to begin.

In any event, here is her full response, once Craig O'Dear forwarded my communications to her -- which I have no problem with, by the way. And I have to say that Stephanie O'Dear is a pretty darned good writer, as I would expect from a graduate of the MU J-School. Here is Ms. O'Dear's e-mail:

Dear Mr. Shuler,

As a fellow University of Missouri Journalism school graduate I am confounded by your definition of journalism and the motives from which you are operating. This approach of salacious and hurtful disclosure is not what we were taught to go forth and pursue with our degrees and that you are using that fine education to pursue such a trajectory saddens me.

What is especially troubling being the lack of backstory that you have elected to circumvent and that would not be obvious to anyone simply searching via Google for random details. Those details are difficult, complex and private and your notion that you will and have a right to force our hand is troubling. From what pedestal are you mandating this approach and what is your motive other than to attempt to humiliate and hurt a family that you do not know and in which you have no vested interest? It is perplexing and again, saddening, to know that anyone out there would embark upon this tactic and slander a family that has done you no harm.

Our family story is an amazing one but one that has withstood tests and trials the likes of which you cannot know or understand. Including, the breakup of our marriage and the struggles for our children that it inherently brought. If you must know, I take responsibility for the divorce and was the one who filed. The details of our downfall aren’t relevant here except that Craig never had an affair nor did I ever accuse him of such. If he did participate in any online sites as you are suggesting, he did so at a time and place that we no longer had a mutual marital obligation to each other and was free to pursue his life as he so chose. We both have deep regrets about that time period though as divorce simply does not bring out the best in anyone but Craig did nothing wrong and never violated his vows to me. And divorcing him is the greatest mistake of my life.

If you must go forward, what you must also consider is where we are today and that is truly the story, if you are looking for one. It is of redemption, reconciliation and forgiveness. It is of two people who genuinely never stopped loving each other and through grace and time found a way to be together again – which is what we have been working towards for some time now, culminating with me moving back into the family home this past Memorial Day. Craig and I are deeply committed to each other and unconditionally devoted to rebuilding our family together. To healing wounds and finding new opportunities. To loving each other better than we did before and to focusing on the future and all the wonderful things that lie ahead. To supporting our children as they launch into adulthood and to being there as their parents no matter what. To creating a life where we each have the other’s back and to supporting one another through the difficult times, like the one you have created today.

So if you want an interesting story to tell, I’ve just told you one. And if you are a man of integrity, honor, and grace – like Craig O’Dear is – and intent on pursuing a post on your blog then you will focus on our family’s future, rather than our past. We respectfully ask that you refrain from pursuing your post and move on. There is only a good news story here and it is one that inspires hope, a renewed belief in humanity, and the power of forgiveness. Thank you.


Stephanie O'Dear

I feel the need to respond to a few of Ms. O'Dear's statements:

1. In the second paragraph, she references my right "to force our hand." Force their hand about what? I'm not sure what that means.

2.  In the same paragraph, Ms. O'Dear says my post will "slander a family." I was required to take a course in Communications Law at MU, and I suspect Ms. O'Dear was, too. She should know that slander is a legal term with a specific meaning, and my reporting does not meet that standard -- not even close.

3. In the third paragraph she states that I'm "suggesting" Mr. O'Dear participated at Ashley Madison. My post isn't "suggesting" anything in that regard; it is directly stating that Mr. O'Dear's name is on the list of paying AM customers -- and he does not deny that.

4. Ms. O'Dear further says Mr. O'Dear never violated his vows to her, but my post never says he did. It says only that he was a paying customer at AM, a site designed specifically (according to its own marketing) to facilitate extramarital affairs. And that is true.

5. Ms. O'Dear says she and Mr. O'Dear are committed to helping each other through "difficult times, like the one you have created today." I'm glad to hear they are committed to working through difficult times; Lord knows, my wife, Carol, and I have experienced 16 years' worth of difficult times, thanks largely to corrupt individuals in Mr. O'Dear's profession. Aside from that, I applaud the O'Dears' commitment to move forward together. But I would suggest they realize that I'm not the one who signed up for Ashley Madison -- and I'm hardly the only journalist who has reported on this story. As far as I know, I am the only journalist to drill beneath the surface and report on the numerous prominent professionals and elites who signed up for the site. That's the kind of reporting I was taught at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and it has served me well for 35-plus years.

6. Ms. O'Dear notes that if I'm "a man of integrity, honor, and grace," I will focus on her family's future rather than its past. Well, I've done just that, by publishing her statement in full -- along with the statement of Mr. O'Dear.


Anonymous said...

I'd say Ms. O'Dear did a pretty good job of stating her position. She's easy on the eyes, too.

Anonymous said...

Ms. O'Dear is right, except about one thing, that there was ever any point in responding to your creepy-kooker, because you are, in fact, creepy and crazy as other' have noted before me, and no one can penetrate your delusive understanding of what is a matter of public concern.

legalschnauzer said...

Oh, it's great to have a return visit from a member of our lunatic fringe. BTW, do you and Sarah and your other imaginary friends originate in Broward County, FL? I have evidence that suggests you do, and you might soon be receiving some unwanted visitors. Don't say I didn't warn you, wise-ass.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 11:36 that Ms. O'Dear stated her position well. But I would also say your analysis was on target. More importantly, I'd say you were fair to the O'Dears. They asked to have their responses run in full, and you did just that.

Anonymous said...

I agree with @11:36 that Ms. O'Dear is easy on the eyes, babelicious even. Those blue eyes! I haven't gotten around to what she said yet.

Anonymous said...

Your "reporting" on the Ashley Madison story line is nothing more than an attempt to sensationalize a now stale story. She is correct that your intent is to embarrass and humiliate. No decent "journalist" would pursue this course of conduct. Go find some more important and relevant things to dig up and report.

legalschnauzer said...

@5:08 -- You have no clue what you are talking about. You have no knowledge of journalism, as evidenced by your anon status. If you want to give me some advice, re: a field I've spent my adult life working in, grow a pair and ID yourself. My phone number is here, and I would be glad to discuss these issues with anyone who has the stones to put a name behind their opinions.

Anonymous said...

You are full of shiite, 5:08. We have an elite/business type in the White House (almost), plus ample evidence that he has no moral center. The same applies to the business elites on Ashley Madison. These people run our country, day in and day out, and the LS reporting shows they have little regard for other people, even their own families. It's a very important story, and Mr. Schnauzer should be applauded for reporting it, even if it steps on your elitist toes.

Anonymous said...

Today was officially Arkansas Anti-Corruption Day.

Official proclamation signed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson:

What did Governor Bentley do about Anti-Corruption Day? Was he too busy with the melons or whatever he was juggling to remember this important day? Or does the Luv Guv believe there is not enough corruption in Alabama to need an Anti-Corruption proclamation from him?

Can the LS get to the real facts of this apparent failure to observe Anti-Corruption Day in Alabama?

legalschnauzer said...

Anti-Corruption Day in Alabama would be like having Anti-Iceberg Day at the North Pole. It just wouldn't make any sense.

Anonymous said...

Schnauzarelli is just baiting that family to try and get them to sue him. He needs to get his name out there. They win he loses.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:27 -- You might have just filed the dumbest comment of all time on this blog. Congrats! Like most people, I live to be sued. What a dumbass you are.

Kate Seaghdh said...

Mr. Shuler, you have demonstrated over and over again that you have no empathy, no moral foundation for your work, and much less than adequate critical judgement.

You are not "reporting" on Ashley Madison. You are using supposed data from the site (some of which appears to be inaccurate) as a blunt instrument to attack people you don't even know because they are lawyers and "elites". I can tell you that your limited technical knowledge is not adequate to accurately report this "story". No one else in the country is bothering with this stuff because there are no actual stories to report. What you are doing amounts only to a smear campaign against people who have done absolutely nothing wrong.

You have proven many times that you don't know the facts about Ashley Madison. Let's talk about those facts, because they show just how unethical and damaging your false reporting has been.

* The most important fact is that much of the stolen personal data on the site was simply inaccurate. Email addresses and personal information provided during credit card transactions was never verified. The proportion of false credit card data was quite high. Only 2% of users even used a credit card on the site. You never report this.

* You also never mention that quite a few Ashley Madison users are swingers, some are in open marriages, and that many users are single, about 27% from my last check.

* Of the married people on the site, nearly all were simply ripped off by Ashley Madison. It is well known that Ashley Madison used false female accounts to generate revenue from male members of the site. Prior to 2016, the site used bots to contact users and encourage them to pay for the site. It was unethical and fraudulent. You never report this.

* The vast majority of site users never communicated with any other users. And when I say vast, I'm seeing more than 95%. The number of individuals who in fact were able to meet people and engage in extramarital relationships through the site was very close to zero. You fail to report this, too.

You can express whatever moral judgement you like about Ashley Madison, but I would expect that you would apply those high journalistic standards you always hide behind and do so based on facts, not feelings. But you can't or won't.

The only real story here is that millions of people had their personal information stolen and published (a felony) and were then subjected to public shaming (by you) and blackmail (also a felony). You have directly contributed to this sad state of affairs, Mr. Shuler. Shame on you. Legal Schnauzer is a fake news site.

By the way, don't bother making threats to me as you did to @12:52 unless you're willing to back them up. People like me deal with this sort of thing from people like you all the time.

legalschnauzer said...


Your "name" sounds familiar. I think you've commented on this subject before. As I recall, I challenged you to state your real name, location, and contact information, and you failed to do so. That's pretty much all we need to know about your credibility, which is zero. I will respond to a couple of your points, but not going to waste much time on you.

* No one has proven yet that any of my AM reporting is inaccurate. You've provided nothing to show my reporting is inaccurate.

* I've stated multiple times that a number of IT professionals have helped me on this reporting, so your own words show you know nothing about the technical expertise involved.

* A word to the wise: You came close to accusing me of blackmail. You didn't quite say it, but you tippy-toed up to the line. If you cross that line, you will wish you hadn't -- and you can bet I can back that up.

legalschnauzer said...

Note to readers:

I've had 2-3 comments today (maybe more) go to spam when I did not intend for that to happen. Blogger has changed its interface in recent days, and I'm still getting used to it, so it's possible I screwed up or mistakenly put on a wrong setting. It's also possible something is amiss with Blogger's transition to the new interface.

I will continue to monitor the situation, and I apologize for comments that have not appeared. Anyone is welcome to resend a comment that hasn't appeared, and I will try to get it posted, assuming it meets our pretty loose standards for comments and assuming I can post it under Blogger's current conditions. Not sure what's going on, but hope to resolve soon. Thanks.

Kate Seaghdh said...

I did correspond with Mr. Shuler earlier this year. I tried to provide him with accurate information concerning Ashley Madison. We had a fairly cordial exchange until Mr. Shuler told me he did not want me to contact him unless I provided him with, among other things, my home address, my home telephone number, all my social media accounts, and a complete list of my clients. He also asked "who is paying you to contact me?"

No one ever paid me to contact Mr. Shuler. I did it to try to help. And no reporter I have dealt with in 25 years has ever demanded my personal contact information or a complete list of my clients, which is confidential for obvious reasons.

I'm a professional computer security consultant who worked with several clients to mitigate the impact of the Ashley Madison data breach in 2015 and 2016.

I confidently stand by my claim that much of Mr. Shuler's reporting on Ashley Madison is inaccurate. He gets some facts wrong and has omitted other facts about the website in his reporting either out of ignorance, or for some other reason.

I am happy to stack up my credentials against any number of "IT professionals" Mr. Shuler wants to produce to back up his claims. And since he is the one attacking people, he should indicate where who his "IT professionals" are and their expertise. The fact that he won't tells us a lot about what he is claiming.

Mr. Shuler is helping to create an environment online where unethical public shaming -- which he is undeniably engaged in -- and blackmail can and do thrive. I stand behind that statement 100%. He knows his threats are idle, and I'll leave it at that.

legalschnauzer said...


I asked you who you really are, and all I got was some reference that you live in Toronto. If someone is going to come on this blog and try to dispute my work, that's fine, but I want to know who they are, what credentials they have. Now, as in our previous communications, I see no reason to believe you are who you say you are. If you don't want to provide contact information and other identifiers that would prove who you are, why are you back here?

Can you provide a list of reporters you have worked with over the years on IT stories? You claim you've done that. Let's see the goods.

You haven't provided one fact that I've gotten wrong, and you won't be able to. If you are "happy to stack up [your] credentials against any number of IT professionals," then do it. That's essentially what I asked you to do last time, and you acted like it was some kind of affront. You are still acting that way, and still not providing any information about your credentials.

I'm not going to waste time with you again. You say you will "leave it at that," so do it and leave us alone because you have nothing to offer to this conversation. I'm not interested in BS from someone who refuses to provide any clues about who she/he really is.

Dagwood said...

Here's a theory: Kate won't provide her name or contact information because she works for Ashley Madison. You are causing problems for the company, and she's trying to get you off the trail. Sounds like she's tried it once already, and now she's at it again. I'm surprised that she revealed she's from Toronto, but that is home base for Ashley Madison.

In her full-time job, she might be in customer service, legal, IT. But I'm betting she works for Ashley Madison. I take it as a sign that you are bugging the crap out of the company, and I say bravo. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Dagwood, no Ashley Madison employee is going to post that the company ripped off members with fembots. Seriously, stick to reality dude.

Dagwood said...

Neither of us knows what an Ashley Madison employee or contractor might do or say to try to shut up about the only reporter who is reporting on this beneath the surface. I still say "Kate" is a con. I would be glad for her to prove me wrong by providing her real name, contact info and any credentials she might have -- to me or Mr. Schnauzer.

Anonymous said...

Dagwoord, let's start with you: real name and address, please. Otherwise I'm pretty sure your last name is "Shuler" and your first name is "Roger". Critical thinking doesn't seem to be your thing. Ashley Madison is subject to ongoing legal action, so an employee publicly admitting wrong-doing only hurts the company. She could be anyone, but she's I don't see how she'd be from Ashley.

S C said...

Maybe i'm missing something, but why the heck would Ashley Madison go out of their way to influence/squash these reports? Their member lists - millions of them - were hacked a while back, which is public knowledge and the company is getting publicity either way - good and bad.

I'm sure they're paranoid about being hacked again, and I assume they're throwing money at security, not worrying about a random attorney here or business guy there whose personal information were on the "master" list.

Dagwood said...

Mr. Shuler asked for your real name and contact info a long time ago, so let's start with you, @9:27. But you've proven over months that you are too big a coward and con artist to provide it. I really don't care who you are: I know you are a fraud, and that's enough for me. I suspect your status as a fraud is quite evident to other readers.

e.a.f. said...

OMG, I couldn't stop laughing when I read her letter. She may write a good letter but the content or intent, OMG. its funny. Doesn't she know about freedom of the press and freedom of speech. What she may call slanderous some would call the truth or their honestly held opinion. Oh, well, as they say one person's terrorist is another's freedom fighter.

She is about as funny as Alabama's A.G. Luther Strange who managed to make the news in Canada. He commented, "justice had been served" after the state botched but eventually executed a man found guilty of murder. OMG, they can send a man to the moon but can't execute a person without screwing it up first. Now of course Canada hasn't executed anyone for over 50 years or more and its against the law here. But people do have the right to assisted suicide under certain conditions. over 200 people in Canada have decided to have their doctors send them packing via injection and not one screw up. The Netherlands has been doing it for over 30 years and they get it right every time. Gee and Luther thinks that is "justice" Alabama sure has some funny characters, but then of course we have to only look at the Govenor.

A. 5:08 is entertaining. Does this person read minds. Like how does anyone know what your intent is?

Marianne Connelo said...

I support Stephanie O'Dear and her family 100%. Not sure what the blogger here is trying to accomplish. The only thing I can think of is that he wants to embarrass this family, and I don't understand why.

Words have consequences. The fact that this blogger seems to be an unemployed pariah seems about right. I might describe him as a bully.

I tried to publish the above comment yesterday and it was censored by the blogger. That tells me a lot. He only supports free speech that he agrees with.

Peter T. said...

Roger, you are condoning privacy invasions based on the personal values of those entertained by it. You are promoting real lawlessness.

We’re living in an era when massive amounts of personal data are being hacked, leaked and exposed. Revenge porn, trolling and swatting happen on a daily basis. The Internet has created a marketplace where there is a value to other people’s humiliation. This mob revelry – and even sexual gratification – for “humiliporn” drives dozens to dedicated revenge porn sites, motivates people to retweet sexual assaults, and is why so many couldn’t resist clicking on those pictures of Jennifer Lawrence.

You’re part of this. Shame.

e.a.f. said...

When people become part of the public eye or have key positions in our society, they loose some of their privacy. the consumer, the citizen, the voter have a right to know who they are dealing with. It is most unfortunate that families are impacted by the actions of one family member, in this case men who listed with A.M. Those guys ought to have thought about it before they involved themselves in these activities. I would suggest, in this day and age almost everyone knows computers can be hacked.

Back when I was a child in the 1950s a lot of mothers told their children never put in writing what you don't want to see on the front page of the Vancouver Sun. (that was and still is the major newspaper in British Columbia, Canada.) Some took our Mothers' advise others didn't at their peril.

What this comes down to is a question of judgement. I would suggest the people who listed with A. M. showed questionable judgement. if I were dealing with a law firm, doctor, dentist, pilot, minister, judge, etc. I would want that person to have good judgement. All of those people who were exposed showed bad judgement. That isn't a moral comment. It is not up to me to judge people who want to have affairs, whether its good or bad. I just want to know who I'm dealing with. If they cheat on their domestic partner will they cheat me their client/patient/voter, etc.

This is really not much different from people who embezell money and get caught embarrassing their families. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime or something along that line.

The people L.S. "outed" were people in prominent positions, people who have responsible jobs which impact seriously on other people if they do not exercise "good judgement". Many of those who were with A.M. claimed to be people of faith, advertising they were family orientated people. They were trying to assure the public they were to be trusted. They weren't. They cheated. They broke either word. If you're unhappy get a divorce and get on with your life. Have as many affairs as you want or if you have an open marriage, fine, but don't try to hide and then get all exercised when it goes public and don't shoot the messenger.

This blogger in my opinion is no bully, isn't trying to embarrass anyone. He is simply reporting the truth. Now if you don't like the truth I would suggest you're O.K. if some one kills some one else and covers it up because the family ought not to be embarrassed or tax cheats should get away with it because it might embarrass their family. If you don't cheat you don't have to be embarrassed. If you are going to cheat at least have good judgment and ensure you are not listed on a computer which can be hacked and we now know there aren't many computers which can't be hacked. Get over it. The truth is the truth. You can't sue for libel when its the truth no matter how inconvenient or painful.

Kate said...

eaf, How is this woman "prominent"? What crap. She's just an average person that Roger Shuler decided to attack. Because that's what he does, every time. There's always a reason he'll do it and no one else will. Well, the reason is because he hates people.

I hope you both burn in hell.

legalschnauzer said...

As usual, "Kate" is commenting in a fact-free zone. First, it was her husband, not me, who invited Ms. O'Dear to respond. Second, Google her name, and you will see she hardly is a regular Joe, especially when you consider her husband/partner. She has an master's degree from MIT, and that alone makes her pretty unusual.