Legal documents in Chris Avellone’s libel lawsuit against Karissa Barrows and others who accused him of sexual harassment show Barrows wanted Avellone to be more than a “con-boyfriend” even after the alleged incidents. A declaration by a witness also denies Kelly Bristol’s claims as false.
The response cites prior evidence released by Red-i Creative Studio owner Jeff Johnson [1, 2], and now deleted tweets where Barrows describes Avellone in a complimentary manner after the alleged incident. There is also a new declaration by Dauna L. Bartley.
Bartley states she attended Dragon Con 2014, along with Avellone and Bristol. This is where Bristol claimed Avellone had repeatedly groped her buttocks while his girlfriend was not looking; however Bartley states never witnessing any untoward behavior by Avellone, or the alleged confrontation between him and an individual called Scott.
Later in the document; Scott states in emails between him and Avellone that he had not seen anything predatory, and was surprised his name was brought up by others as a witness to the incident. He also states he had no desire to “beat up” Avellone, and had happily met with Avellone after that alleged incident.
Further, Bartley states she met with Karissa Barrows in October 2014 for a birthday party. At this party, Barrows had stated she “blackballed” Avellone from Dragon Con.
This was done by, to the best of Bartley’s knowledge, aggressively petitioning organizers “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 her, and their bad break up (caused in part by Barrows interference) was allegedly Barrows and Bristol’s motive.
Private messages between Avellone and Barrows from February 26th, 2013 were also included; over five months since the alleged incident took place (August 31st to September 3rd 2012, archived here). Therein, Barrows seems eager to meet Avellone at PAX East, even describing meeting with him and other friends as “Dragon*con part II.”
She was also happy when one friend Gaider was unable to make it, leaving her free of “judgement.” “Though I dare say his judgment only inspired further shenanigans.”
The friendly conversation continued into March 2014. Barrows’ other ongoing conversations with Yorik Reyes at the time also described Avellone in a positive manner; as she aided the two connecting to help the Reyes with his Kickstarter.
A redacted individual in private messages to seemingly Avellone also describes when he met Barrows at Dragon Con 2012. They support Avellone’s version of events, and described Barrows as talking positively about him as she had done to Johnson.
Further, this individual stated they were one of the friends that (according to Barrows) had checked on her after the incident. The individual states they Avellone and Barrows were drunk and left together, and were “hot for each other.”
“She assured us things were copacetic [excellent] and that you’d listened when she stopped and that she was *happy*.” The individual also claims that for the next year from that event, Barrows referred to Avellone as her “con-boyfriend” in every conversation with them; a term she also agreed with in Johnson’s messages.
The way she spoke, the individual thought they were still physically seeing each other. Based on Avellone’s Medium article they had not seen each other for that whole year. The individual calls Barrows a “clout chaser,” gaining reputation by “dating” Avellone.
The individual also shared screenshots seemingly from Barrows on September 12th, 2012. Therein, Barrows stated she has spoken to Avellone yesterday, telling him that she missed him.
Barrows mentions this was motivated by her being up at 3 a.m. as she had been at Dragon Con 2012, to which Avellone told her not to worry. She states he also said this “when I napped in his room the night before I left.”
On the 14th of that month, Barrows expresses her frustration that Avellone was “not interested in carrying on” and how it was strange “considering his behavior at [Dragon Con].”
“I knew it was just a con thing, but dude. Been a while since I was treated that well.” She also laments 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.”
Avellone claims that he and Barrows had made out “enthusiastically” in front of her hotel room door (which she reciprocated to), and continued to meet at conventions for over a year and a half. Barrows claimed that he got her “blackout drunk,” took her back to her room, and “pounced on her” in front of other men.
One of these men allegedly told Barrows what had occurred the next morning, as she had no memory of the event. She also stated she was “still in denial” about what happened until her “breaking point” came after an alleged “explosive” argument in the restaurant between Avellone and Jackie.
Returning to the evidence in the document, Barrows claims another individual (actor Lee Arenberg) had allegedly been flirting with her. She found it “awesome but strange,” as he was married. In the 14th messages, she says she had “major moves from the other front. Still strange.”
She yet again discussed Avellone (on November 30th, 2012), and how she would be okay with their relationship “not being just a con thing. He’s great. But I doubt that’s anything he’s interested in. […] I refuse to be ‘that girl’ who a dude is affectionate with for a few days and then she’s latched on for life or something. Unless that’s what he wants, of course…”
Barrows also discusses being keen to learn if Avellone is going to PAX East, and to even ask the individual to ask discreetly how Avellone his relationship was going with her. “Be like ‘so you and Karissa were adorable at Dragon*Con. How’s that going? winknudge’ or something.”
When asked by the individual if they should be discreet, Barrows replies “Dunno if he wants any of it public. Even though he stopped me to make out all the way from the Marriot to the Hyatt and the train station.”
Barrows continues to show eagerness to meet with Avellone again, and what his answer to their relationship may be. She later states she texted Avellone (as also noted by Johnson in his evidence), and when asking to attend PAX East stated “Who will walk me back to my room if you don’t go?”
Avellone allegedly replied “This question appeals to my gentleman (and not gentleman) instincts.” Barrows reply of random all-caps letters seem to indicates excitement. She claims she replied “I am perfectly content with both types thereof.”
Barrows later expresses her excitement to attend Dragon Con 2013. The individual states it was shortly after the latter messages is when Barrows “started implying y’all had sort of sorted things out and were sort of seeing each other.”
Tweets by Karissa at San Diego Comic Con (made July 18th 2013) also tagged Avellone, eager to see him again. The last positive tweet discussing Avellone in the document is dated June 18th, 2014. This would therefore have been after Dragon Con 2013 (August 30th to September 2nd), and before Dragon Con 2014 (August 29th to September 1st).
This means if Barrows was in denial until the argument between Avellone and Jackie- which lead to him being blacklisted from Dragon Con- then the alleged argument cannot have happened until after September 2nd, 2013. However, other evidence by Johnson would suggest this could not have happened until after August 2016 (when he was no longer in contact with Barrows or Avellone).
Even so, the new evidence and prior shows Barrows sought a deeper relationship with Avellone. Why then did she then attempt to fix her friend Jackie up with Avellone? How did this affect her judgement when Jackie discussed her relationship issues with Avellone?
The source also sent us the court’s response [1, 2]. The court makes special mention that “notably, the Defendants have combined the pending Motion to Quash with a Motion to Strike (Anti-SLAPP) and/or Motion to Dismiss.”
The tentative ruling is that Barrows’ and Bristol’s motion to Quash has been continued to August 24th, and are ordered to pay fees for all the motions, as they had not paid the special motion to strike and motion to dismiss, and improperly combined (when they are each supposed to be separate).
We will keep you informed as we learn more.
As previously reported and aforementioned, 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, 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 the restaurant with Jackie; 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. He believed the allegations were “triggered” after Avellone appeared in an video interview with IGN; the first published as a Twitter 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.
As aforementioned, 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 Avellone refuting the claims), Avellone discovered Barrows had deleted tweets where she described him in a positive light, and even friendship.
These included a photo the day after the alleged incident, with Barrows hugging Avellone with the caption “One of the few gentlemen left in the world (that still drink).” There is also another photo of the two on good terms allegedly from PAX East 2013.
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.”
Avellone issued a libel lawsuit against Barrows and Bristol for accusations, and 100 “Jane Does” of six counts of libel. Avellone’s lawyers are asking for “prayers for relief” including general, special, punitive, and emotional distress damages, costs of the suit, and equitable relief in the form of a positive injunction.
Later, Red-i Creative Studio owner Jeff Johnson released his own statement to defend Avellone. While he was in contact with Barrows and Avellone, he claims Barrows never had anything negative to say about Avellone. In private messages, just over two weeks after the alleged incident should have taken place, Barrows uses Johnson’s description of Avellone as a “con-boyfriend.”
Johnson proposed Barrows was “clearly” seeking a relationship with Avellone. Johnson later released 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.