VanderSloot bought numerous full-page newspaper ads in The Post Register that attacked the story and explicitly identified the reporter, Zuckerman, as "a homosexual" (Zuckerman had previously written for a small Florida paper about being gay when he lived in that state, but had kept his sexual orientation largely a secret since he moved to rural Idaho). [29] In addition to her other milestones during the season, she also broke the Gonzaga single-season scoring record. Vandersloot is also the first Division I player, male or female, to have accumulated 2,000 points and 1,000 assists in a career,[8] and only the second female overall. As Vandersloot was shooting video, her wife and teammate outshot the Thunder’s Paul. It warned them that "this is serious business" that "will escalate this quickly if you do not help us resolve these issues immediately.". VanderSloot was personally audited by the IRS, as was his business. He has been using this abusive tactic in Idaho for years: suppressing legitimate political speech by threatening or even commencing lawsuits against even the most obscure critics (he has even sued local bloggers for "copyright infringement" after they published a threatening letter sent by his lawyers). In the last month alone, VanderSloot, using threats of expensive defamation actions, has successfully forced Forbes, Mother Jones and at least one local gay blogger in Idaho to remove articles that critically focused on his political and business practices (Mother Jones subsequently re-posted the article with revisions a week after first removing it). [18] The Bulldogs went on to win the WCC Tournament, with Vandersloot named tournament MVP. Melaleuca responded by obtaining an after-the-fact copyright certificate for that lawyer's letter, then demanded that the hosting company remove the letter from the website on the ground that it constituted copyright infringement (the hosting company promptly complied), and Melaleuca then sued the website for copyright infringement for having published the now-copyrighted lawyer's letter without their consent. He would later say, "I did not take it easy on her at all. And the third complaint -- about the mention of VanderSloot's wife having donated $100,000 to the Prop 8 campaign -- is just bizarre: she did exactly that, and there is no suggestion that the claim is false. VanderSloot has also been in the headlines recently concerning a lawsuit involving a former employee. Her relatively small size had been a subject of concern, as was her defense—despite averaging 4.5 steals per game in the 2011 NCAA tournament and ending her Gonzaga career with 366. But for the last full week, if one clicked on the link to where that story once was on the Mother Jones website, the article was no longer there, replaced by an "Access Denied" error message. She would say about the trip in 2011, "I just fell in love with this place. She is nonetheless determined not to permit a highly politicized billionaire to create a Free Speech and Free Press shield of immunity around himself with baseless, bullying legal threats. I'd say, 'There's no fouls out here.' Organizations such as The Public Participation Project now exist exclusively to defend those victimized by SLAPP suits or the threat of them. Currently, he is the national finance co-chair of the Mitt Romney presidential campaign, and his company has become one of the largest donors ($1 million) to the ostensibly "independent" pro-Romney SuperPAC, Restore Our Future. While it's not clear if the wedding had anything to do with van der Sloot's transfer, he tied the knot with Figueroa in July and was transferred to Challapalca in south Peru the next month. Since the company began in September of 1985, VanderSloot has directed its growth into an international company that generates more than $1 billion in annual revenue. The Truth about Melaleuca and Frank VanderSloot . That's the dynamic that has to change, and (this is addressed to any lawyers for VanderSloot and Melaleuca reading this) this is the dynamic that will change if someone stands up to these pernicious tactics. [8] They defeated UC Davis in the first round[16] before falling to Colorado in the second round. The lawsuits also cost media organizations thousands of dollars. [25] The Zags again won the WCC Tournament, and Vandersloot was named tournament MVP for the third straight time,[26] also becoming the first women's player in WCC history to win that honor three times.[7]. Although he spends much of his time focusing on his career, VanderSloot ensures that his schedule has just enough time left over to spend quality time … 11 in their region, opened the tournament with a 92–86 upset of Iowa, with Vandersloot scoring a career-high 34 points. " She eventually reached the point where she regularly beat her coach off the dribble. [7] During the third grade, she wrote a school paper about her dreams of one day playing in the WNBA.[9]. [38] Her average of 3.7 assists per game (apg) was 11th in the league[38] and second among rookies. Joran van der Sloot's wife says her husband was stabbed twice in the Peruvian prison where he is serving time for murder, according to reports. [41] On July 20, 2018, Vandersloot became the seventh player in league history to post a triple-double, she scored 13 points along with 10 rebounds and a career-high 15 assists in a 114-99 victory over the Dallas Wings. On February 2 of this year, one of its bloggers, James Tidmarsh, wrote a piece entitled "Romney Receives Big Money from Idaho's Not-So-Gay-Friendly Melaleuca Company." ", In response to this six-part exposé -- which won the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment -- VanderSloot went on a virtual jihad against the newspaper and the principal reporter who exposed the scandal, Peter Zuckerman. Despite these performances, the Sky missed out on the playoffs yet again, they finished 13-21. Frank VanderSloot founded and runs Melaleuca, which makes more than 400 products ranging from health supplements to eco-friendly household cleaners. Jody May-Chang is an independent journalist and an LGBT spokesperson in Boise. [1] The third selection in the 2011 WNBA Draft,[2] she was selected as an All-Star and named to the All-Rookie Team in her rookie year. During her college career at Gonzaga University, she was the only women's player in West Coast Conference history to be named the conference's player of the year three times, and also the only player to be named MVP of the WCC Women's Tournament three times. On February 10 -- four days after the Mother Jones piece was first posted -- Forbes published an article entitled "Meet the Men Behind Romney: Four Contributors Mitt Probably Doesn't Want You to Know About". Frank VanderSloot is an Idaho billionaire and the CEO of Melaleuca, Inc., a controversial billion-dollar-a-year company which peddles dietary supplements and cleaning products; back in 2004, Forbes, echoing complaints to government agencies, described the company as "a pyramid selling organization, built along the lines of Herbalife and Amway." In 2019, Vandersloot continued to exceed assists records. Frank VanderSloot was born on August 14, 1948 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, United States. Aided in the restoration of the historic New Sweden Schoolhouse As a donation to the American Heritage Charter School, he helped to restore the building after purchasing it from the Idaho Falls School District. That’s when Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot stepped in. VanderSloot and his wife, Belinda, announced a $500,000 legal defense fund last week to help east Idahoans with medical debt who also have been slapped with “excessive attorney fees.” [18] Vandersloot won the first of what would be three WCC Player of the Year awards. But if Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot has his way, the process may become significantly more understandable and transparent in the Gem State. [Adam] Morrison [a recent Gonzaga men's standout] was a little bit the same way. Though she did remove the photograph of VanderSloot, she refuses to relinquish her right criticize his political activism. By her junior year, attendance had risen to 2,935, and rose again to 3,824 in her senior season, with the Zags selling out the McCarthey Athletic Center twice before the NCAA tournament. During that first season, Graves suggested that she call the school's greatest point guard in history for advice—Hall of Famer John Stockton. He was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of 16. Given what a threat this conduct is to free speech, free press and political debate, I assured May-Chang that if she is sued by VanderSloot and/or his company, I would work endlessly to raise the funds she needed for vigorous legal representation. His partner of five years was fired from his job.". Beyond that, those like VanderSloot who are public figures, suing over articles clearly about matters of public interest, have a very high burden to meet in order to prevail, and proving actual damages is difficult in the extreme. “I just thought, ‘Here’s somebody who I … VanderSloot's history has begun to mobilize segments of the left to use him as ammunition against the Romney campaign, like Human Rights Campaign, the gay advocacy group. [35], Her impact on the Gonzaga program can be measured by another statistic—home attendance. Because one must prove reputational injury, and in most cases must prove that one's business or financial interests have been harmed by the allegedly defamatory statements, virtually every aspect of a person's private and business life -- anything relating to their reputation and financial activities -- is subject to discovery and investigation. The reality is that most people who threaten to bring defamation lawsuits rarely do so. He can’t comment on the case because it has not yet been resolved. [7], That season, she had averaged more than 18 points and 7 assists as she led Kentwood to its first state tournament appearance; they would lose in the second round of the tournament to Spokane's University High, led by future Tennessee star Angie Bjorklund. [17], In her 2008–09 sophomore season, she set a school record in assists with 239;[7] at the end of the regular season, her average of 7.3 per game led the conference, and she was also third in the conference in scoring at 16.4 per game. 2 seed (and 2011 champion) Texas A&M before losing in the Sweet Sixteen to the Xavier team they had knocked out the year before. At times, I wasn't too nice. His clothes came from the Salvation Army. There is something that separates Courtney from others. [7] She would eventually sign with Gonzaga in November 2006, during her senior year at Kentwood; she noted in 2011, "I wasn't really being highly recruited and I just didn't want to go through the stressful recruiting process, so I committed early to Gonzaga."[9]. Threatening journalists and bloggers with baseless lawsuits and trying to suppress free debate is a recognized menace. [19] In the NCAA Tournament, the Zags defeated Xavier for the program's first NCAA Tournament win[20] before narrowly losing in the second round to Pitt. [36] However, she was seen as likely to be one of the top seven picks,[37] and was ultimately picked third overall by the Chicago Sky. But again, if you click on the link to the Forbes site where the article originally appeared -- here -- you will be greeted by a message error; the only evidence of the article is found from other sites that linked to it. She was selected to the 2019 WNBA All-Star Game, making it her second All-Star appearance. ... Former Zag breaks WNBA record with help from wife. To allow this scheme to continue -- whereby billionaires can use their bottomless wealth to intimidate ordinary citizens and media outlets out of writing about them -- is to permit the wealthiest in America to thuggishly shield themselves from legitimate criticism and scrutiny. But now, VanderSloot may have picked the wrong person to bully. In the 2017 season, she led the league in assists for the second time in her career, setting the single-season league record for assists per game at 8.1 apg and the record for most assists over a 15-game stretch with 149. "Cassie is the youngest child of Frank's second wife, Vivian VanderSloot." He and his wife, Belinda, live in Idaho Falls. There are few things more invasive than being a defamation plaintiff. She also included the official photograph of VanderSloot taken from the Melaleuca website: a common practice for journalists when writing about a public figure. Even a meritless suit can drag on for months – sometimes even years – and tactics such as aggressive discovery can pile on the costs." They have 14 children. The word about Melaleuca gets around in the old-fashioned way–by one person telling another about the effectiveness of Melaleuca products and the consumer-direct business opportunity Melaleuca provides. She led the WCC in both scoring and assists on the way to a second straight unbeaten season in conference play. 09/01/2020 5:09 PM It detailed VanderSloot's ties to Romney, the controversial business history of Melaleuca, and the attacks on (and community outing of) Zuckerman by VanderSloot for his Boy Scout/pedophile investigative series. [9], A pivotal moment in her life came during the summer before her sophomore year, when she went with a friend to the Gonzaga University girls' basketball camp. [43] Because the WNBA season is held in the northern hemisphere summer, the traditional offseason for basketball throughout the world, many of the league's players participate in overseas leagues during the traditional season and return to their WNBA teams in the summer. 3 seed UCLA, Vandersloot finished with 29 points and 17 assists, one assist shy of the record for a Division I tournament game, as the Zags took down the Bruins 89–75. The revised article contains numerous tortured edits and corrections (all about trivial issues) designed to placate VanderSloot's lawyers and to correct what were a couple of minor errors; tellingly, nobody from Mother Jones was willing to be quoted, even anonymously, for this article. [14] However, the Bulldogs lost in the WCC final to San Diego[15] and ultimately missed out on the NCAA Tournament, playing instead in the WNIT. She broke her own league record for assists per game with 9.1 apg. [10] Vandersloot was rated as the No. Frank L. VanderSloot is CEO of Melaleuca, Inc. in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It's almost impossible to imagine any more thuggish attempts to intimidate people from speaking out and criticizing VanderSloot: this was a tiny website being sued for trivial offenses in federal court by a company owned by a billionaire. As she put it to me: "his legal team insists that neither VanderSloot nor his company have an anti-gay position, but when placed up against his actions that assertion is laughable." Vandersloot was also consensus first-team all-state, and was named the state's player of the year by the Seattle Times. 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