(CMR) Jamaican Vlogger Andre Stephens lost a default judgment in a defamation suit in the Jamaica Supreme Court to investment banker Ryan Strachan.
According to the Jamaica Observer, Stephens did not formally acknowledge the lawsuit that was brought against him. However, in March, he publicly stated that he was in receipt of a demand letter and that his lawyers would deal with it.
By not formally acknowledging the lawsuit, the court will assess the level of damage, costs and interests that Stephens will have to pay Strachan.
The Observer said Strachan is currently the Vice-President of Investor Relations at GK Capital, the investment and advisory subsidiary of food and financial services company GraceKennedy Limited. He had argued that Stephens made “gravely defamatory” videos and images that were published through his social media accounts on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.
Strachan's attorney Trevor Cuff said Stephens “maliciously besmirched” the reputation of his client, an “eminent and highly respected senior member of his profession” with several postings on February 5, 7 and 18.
A letter sent to Stephens alleged that on February 7, 2023, Stephens operating under the username @andre_stephens876, published a video on the social media platform TikTok containing a number of malicious and disparaging statements and innuendo.
The letter demanded that Stephens cease and desist from uttering any further false and malicious statement or innuendo against Strachan.
The letter also demanded an unqualified apology, in terms to be dictated by the law firm and to be disseminated by way of YouTube handle @iamandrestephens1035, TikTok handle @andre_stephens876, and Instagram handle @iamandrestephens.
Stephens has questioned if the lawsuit was a part of “an organized sheme to bring him down.”