|Brandon and David Guttery|
When Day Two of our communications was complete, I did a little research on young Mr. Guttery and discovered he was not quite the innocent college student he claimed to be. For one, he's a senior, not an underclassmen. And he has worked as an intern for his father's company -- possibly for every summer of college. In an August 7 Facebook post, David Guttery had praise for his son's work at Keystone Financial:
As the summer holiday draws to a close, I would like to recognize, and thank my intern ( and son ), Brandon Guttery, for a fantastic job. Wishing all the best for a successful senior year at The University of Alabama!
That raised my hackles a bit and caused me to question Brandon Guttery's claim that he was just interested in learning the "truth." My hackles were raised even further when the younger Guttery's tone changed and suggested he had an ulterior motive all along. Here is his first Day Two email, at 11:38 a.m. on Oct. 10:
You wrote that piece in retaliation of a business deal that did not go your way.
Then tried to smear his name and demand compensation for your silence.
My only regret is believing you had told the whole truth, which now I have learned you did not.
Let this be our final correspondence, and know this: Omission based reporting, geared to fit a desired narrative, is why journalists are not trustworthy anymore.
May your blog be the height of your reach.
Geez, does this kid have multiple personalities? If so, how many does he have? I decided, "If this sprout wants a tussle, he's come to the right place. Bring it on, dude." My response to Brandon G:
Beware of making false accusations against people. They can come back to bite you.
Sounds like you are developing into quite the con artist. Not surprised about that.
And you are an expert on trustworthiness?
BTW, what business deal are you talking about? I have no idea, and I doubt you do either.
In another curious twist, young Mr. Guttery decided -- for the first of several times -- to invoke God's name. To borrow a phrase from Tina Turner . . . "What's God got to do with it?"
I would offer the same advice to you, Rodger (sic).
I only wanted truth, and I have reason to believe you told a partial truth. One that benefits you, and you alone.
May God guide you.
That left me a few openings, so I decided to take them -- especially since it now appeared Brandon Guttery likely had ill intentions when he initiated our conversation:
So, you admit my post is accurate. You claim something is "partial," but you don't say what that is. Again, I'm not aware of a "business deal" I've ever been in that involves your father in any way. Apparently, you aren't aware of such a "deal," either.
If you only wanted the truth, why did you attempt to pull a con job on me? You weren't truthful from the outset of our communication, and I suspected that was the case.
Based on your own words, it appears your father has concocted these false accusations about me and shared them with you -- a third party. That would point to possible defamation. You and your father might want to study up on defamation law. Again, beware.
Hmmm . . . now we were talking in the legal realm, and it soon became clear that Brandon Guttery was out of his depth:
Defemation (sic) pertains to going public with falsified information with intent to cause damage to another, something I had thought you would be aware of given your past judicial involvements.
I host no blog, nor am I going public anywhere. I wanted truthful information, I did not receive what I wanted, so as far as I am concerned this matter is over.
Once again, may God guide you through life.
I started to smell a Trump supporter here. What is it with suburban white people and God anyway? They seem to know little about God and even less about the law -- just like Trump himself. Hell, the kid can't even spell "defamation":
You need to bone up on defamation law. Based on your own words, it appears your father has falsely accused me of a crime called extortion (a felony) and that points to something called "defamation per se." It's serious business. Look it up.
Young Mr. Guttery seemed to sense that the water was getting up under his neck, and he needed to swim to shore:
You are correct, this is a very serious point. Which is precisely why I will never make public anything we have spoken of today, be it verbally or in a written format. If I ever did such an act without evidence to corroborate what I said, you would have every right to bring your case before a court of law.
You and I might disagree quite a bit, however I hold no interest in defaming the name of someone else. I have stated what I believe, and it will remain private to the day I draw my final breath.
You assume much about my words. There is a certain saying about them, as I’m sure you are aware.
So I would like to once again propose we leave this matter here. Given none of this information is public, there has been no damage to your reputation or your societal appearance (or “face” if you will).
God bless you, Roger.
There's the infernal God stuff again. Does he want God to "guide" me or to "bless" me. Maybe he wants God to guide me into the path of a blessed 18-wheeler. I was confused about the other-worldly stuff, but I was clear-headed on the law:
Your own words suggest you've discussed these false allegations against me with someone. And your reference to a "business deal" suggests that person is your father -- even though you apparently can't point to any such "business deal." That's not assuming anything; it's right there in your own words.
I'm not saying you've defamed me, but I'm saying your own words indicate someone, likely your father, has made statements to you that falsely accuse me of a crime (extortion), and that points to possible defamation per se. You and your father really need to educate yourselves about defamation law. The issue is whether a false and defamatory statement has been "published" (verbally or in writing) to a third party (you, in this case). Whether it has been "made public" is not part of the law.
As for your proposal to "leave this matter here," you should have thought of that before opening up this hornet's nest. I will deal with it as I see fit, but you and your father should know I take it seriously when someone falsely accuses me of a crime. I also take it seriously when someone contacts me under false pretenses. I responded to your queries with patience and respect, only to learn you were pulling a con game all along.
No matter how many times you say "God bless you," the truth is that you dealt with me dishonestly from the start. You might try looking in the mirror on that one.
With that, Brandon Guttery seemed to realize that it was a good time to get out of Dodge:
I’m just a college kid who thinks he knows more than he does. I know that seems like a cop out...I wish I could rewind the past 24 hours. But I can’t.
When I first emailed you, I was truly curious. My father had never discussed that matter with me. I then got angry after asking my family about it, and didn’t think.
You have every reason to not like me, and every reason to not believe what I’m saying in this writing. And you’re right. I do need a look in the mirror.
From the bottom of my heart...I’m sorry.
You’ll never have to deal with me again.
I give Brandon Guttery credit for saying he was sorry. He owed me an apology, and while a lot of people aren't big enough to do that, he stepped up to the plate and apologized. Does that mean I'm dropping the defamation matter? Not necessarily. I'm going to think about it and conduct some research on the issue. I left young Mr. Guttery with this:
I don't believe you when you say your father has never discussed this with you and falsely accused me of a crime. I take my reputation seriously, and I take legal wrongs against me seriously.
Whether I deal with you -- and your father -- again is up to me.