Karissa Barrows, who accused Chris Avellone of sexual assault, has had her motion to strike the libel lawsuit against her denied.
According to a source familiar with the case, Karissa Barrows had initially sought to indicate having the trial in California would be inconvenient, and attempted to have it take place in her home state of Illinois. Barrows also denied knowing Avellone was in California, or attempted to target him or him specifically.
The source states that if she had succeeded, the trial would have been dismissed with no consequences for either party. Even then, Avellone could have pursued the case to Illinois.
Nonetheless, the motion to move Barrows’ case was denied by Judge Theresa M. Traber, possibly due to Karissa’s frequent travel for conventions. The source also claims lying under oath may have contributed.
Kelly Bristol, a supporter of Barrows’ claims and accuser of being groped by Avellone, succeeded in her case being moved to Oklahoma. Even so, the source was positive that Avellone would have a strong case. This was partly due to Bristol now being “on her own,” and her case being the weakest of the two. The latter is because a witness Bristol had called undermined her claims, along with another witness.
The above was filed September 16th [1, 2] with the source speaking to us on September 22nd. They indicated that on the 28th, information on the anti-SLAPP motion would be decided. As previously reported, and noted in the new legal documents we were sent, the defendants had improperly combined that motion with the motion to quash and dismiss.
On the 28th, the source confirmed that the tentative ruling had been upheld, and Barrows motion to strike was denied. In turn, Bristol’s motion to strike was denied as moot (as she is no longer part of Barrows’ case). The parties are ordered to a mandatory settlement conference, and trial is estimated for five to six days.
We reached out to Avellone for comment. Avellone confirmed that the motion to strike was denied, and was pleased with the outcome. He stated he intends to pursue the case against Bristol in Oklahoma.
“The evidence was heard, evaluated, and I’m pleased with the court’s decision regarding Barrows and hope this gets us even closer to the truth. As for Kelly Bristol, the decision not to try her in California was expected and I intend to follow the court’s lead and continue action against her in Oklahoma. Her case has no foundation in truth, and witnesses on record – including her only chosen witness – have completely contradicted her story.”
We will keep you informed as we learn more.
As previously reported, Barrows (along with supporting claims by Bristol) accused Avellone of getting her “blackout drunk” and taking advantage of her at Dragon Con 2012. Barrows also accused Avellone of being emotionally manipulative and abusive towards his then girlfriend Jackie, and being predatory to other women.
Barrows also accused Avellone of approaching women “whom looked FAR younger than me in my late 20s (at the time, and I have always looked young for my age).” While “still in denial” about what happened, her “breaking point” came after an alleged “explosive” argument in a restaurant between Avellone and Jackie; with him allegedly leaving her alone in a major city while she went looking for him.
Despite giving public apologies at the time, Avellone later issued a public statement denying the allegations; and issued a libel lawsuit against Barrows and Bristol for accusations, and 100 “Jane Does” of six counts of libel.
Avellone believed the allegations were “triggered” after he appeared in a video interview with IGN; the first allegations tweeted by Barrows in reply to IGN’s tweet. He further states that very few press reached out to him, nor did research that would have proven the claims as false.
Avellone claims that he and Barrows made out “enthusiastically” in front of her hotel room door (which she reciprocated to). During his own investigation (and the motivation for refuting the claims), Avellone discovered Barrows had deleted tweets where she described him in a positive light, and even showed signs of friendship, long after the alleged incident.
In deleted 2014 tweet [1, 2] (prior to Avellone’s relationship with Jackie) Barrows states surprise that she had not experienced any abuse or harassment as a female gamer and cosplayer; when such incidents seemed to be “rampant.” Barrows even notes “And, strangely enough, when it does, it’s USUALLY another woman.”
Later, Red-i Creative Studio owner Jeff Johnson released his own statement to defend Avellone. While he was in contact with both, he claims Barrows never had anything negative to say about Avellone. In private messages, just over two weeks after the alleged incident, Barrows used Johnson’s description of Avellone as a “con-boyfriend.” Johnson proposed Barrows was “clearly” seeking a relationship with Avellone.
Johnson later revealed additional unreleased audio from a podcast that took place three months after the alleged incident. Therein, Barrows sounds keen to go drinking with Avellone again, and describes him in glowing terms.
A source familiar with the case had previously sent us documents of Avellone’s legal response. Along with citing Johnson’s public statements and Barrows’ deleted tweets; it included additional witness declarations undermining Bristol’s claims, and private messages from Barrows showing she was eager to meet Avellone after the alleged incident.
A redacted individual also corroborated Avellone’s version of events when he met Barrows, that both were “hot for each other,” and that in the following year Barrows described Avellone as her con-boyfriend. Private messages they shared from Barrows shows her stating she had “napped in [Avellone’s] room the night before I left;” and frustration that he was “not interested in carrying on” their casual relationship.
“I knew it was just a con thing, but dude. Been a while since I was treated that well.” Barrows also lamented how it “seems like he’s interacting with everyone BUT me. Funny when it took an hour to get to my next door hotel bc he couldn’t stop stopping me to make out.” Other messages with the redacted individual showed she desired her relationship with Avellone “not being just a con thing.”
In addition, a witness declared their belief that Barrows had Avellone “blackballed” from Dragon Con “based on what she perceived as his bad acts during his private split with his former casual girlfriend and his accidental appearance at a panel of which he was not an invited panelist during the convention.”
This girlfriend may have been Jackie; who Barrows had allegedly encouraged Avellone to pursue. Their bad break up (caused in part by Barrows’ interference) was allegedly Barrows’ and Bristol’s motive.