How Gossip Kills

Audrie Potts did not kill herself because she was sexually assaulted while passed out drunk.

gossip-7Audrie Potts did not kill herself because photos of the assault were taken by some of the boys who assaulted her.

Audrie Potts did not kill herself because the boys shared the photos with others.

Audrie Potts did not kill herself because her entire community was gossiping about the assault and the photos.

Audrie Potts was murdered with gossip by people whose motive was hate.

“I have a reputation for a night I don’t remember.  The whole school is talking about it.  My life is ruined.  The boys who did this can die in a hole for all I care.  I’m in hell.”  Audrie Potts

The victims in the twin towers who jumped to their deaths due to the extreme pain from the smoke and heat were ruled homicides not suicides.

(“In effect they did not jump. They were pushed. Homicide.”)

“At the office of the New York chief medical examiner, a spokesman said this week that they did not consider these people ‘jumpers’…….‘Jumping indicates a choice, and these people did not have that choice,’ she said. ‘That is why the deaths were ruled homicide, because the actions of other people caused them to die”

Just like the victims of 9/11 were pushed by the pain caused by others, Audrie was pushed by the pain caused by others.

“One of Audrie’s assailants, compelled by legal settlement to be interviewed by the filmmakers (who shield his identity with animation), is asked what he’s learned about girls. “There’s a lot of gossip between girls,” he mumbles between “uh”s. “Guys are more laid back and don’t really care.”

1 John 3:15 says that hate is the equivalent of murder.

Gossip was the weapon.  The motive was to cause harm, a malicious intent.  The intent was born from hate.  The perpetrators were everybody that participated in gossiping about Audrie.

That same year that Audrie was assaulted a Maryville, Missouri high school freshman girl, Daisy Coleman,  was also sexually assaulted and video taped much like Audrie.

The evidence was overwhelming against the popular high school football player.

However charges were dropped against the boys accused of assaulting Daisy giving credence that two separate prosecutors were influenced by one of the boys, Matthew Barnett’s, prominence in the community as a star football player and his grandfather’s position as a Missouri state representative.

There are a lot of similarities between Daisy Coleman’s case and that of a teenage girl who was sexually assaulted by well connected community college, De Anza, baseball players in Santa Clara County California in which two separate prosecutors refused to prosecute.  Another case in which prosecutorial discretion allows the well connected to escape accountability.

Instead of supporting Daisy a large segment of the Maryville community gossiped about Daisy; persecuted Daisy and Daisy’s family on behalf of the popular high school football player who assaulted her because Daisy had the courage to seek justice for what was done to her.

“Daisy says she was suspended from the cheerleading squad and incessantly bullied. People, called her “liar,” and  told her she was “asking for it” and would “get what was coming.”

“When she, Daisy, decided to press charges, she and her family were subjected to relentless humiliation via social media. After the prosecutors dropped criminal charges, the public shaming became virulent. As they prepared to move to another city, their house, which was up for sale, was burned to the ground.”

Like Audrie, Daisy was assaulted with gossip; unlike Audrie, Daisy survived the attack.

Gossip is a weapon that is wielded by people for one purpose, to cause harm to others and sometimes it has lethal effects.

gossip-1Both of their stories are detailed in a new documentary, “Audrie & Daisy,” to be released  on Netflix September 23, 2016.

A screening can be viewed at:

The Audrie Pott Foundation & CASA Los Gatos
Los Gatos Theatre
43 N. Santa Cruz Avenue
Los Gatos, CA
September 25, 2016 10:00 am