It’s rapidly approaching Memorial Day weekend, and 5 years since I woke up to receive personal death threats, blocked calls with hate messages, hate Facebook messages and hate emails. Imagine my shock and horror as I started my Monday morning only to learn that I was being falsely accused of something I knew literally nothing about.
Before I even had a chance to take my first sip of my coffee in my Santa Monica home office, I found myself a victim of something that shouldn’t have included me. That morning a story broke having to do with another LA resident named Lauren Rosenberg who was suing Google for following Google Maps’ walking instructions at night from her Blackberry in Park City, Utah. Because the directions instructed her to walk alongside a busy and not pedestrian-safe highway, she did so anyway. And when an innocent driver, who wasn’t expecting a pedestrian on the road hit her, she ended up suing both Google and this poor guy for a mere $100,000 each.
I have always been very active on social media with a Facebook page, a Facebook “fan” page, a blog, Twitter and Linkedin accounts, and a company website. If you had Googled my name at the time (I later learned that there were 30 Lauren Rosenberg’s living in LA.) I would have stacked up as numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, if not more. So, when these random people Googled “Lauren Rosenberg” and they saw my name filling up the first page, well, they just naturally assumed that they got their girl. Which they did not.
I was told by these wonderful people (who clearly had too much time on their hands) that I’m an “idiot”, I’m “stupid”, a “disgrace to society”, that they “wish I would just die and go away”, to “watch my back” and warning me that I’m “going down”.
I’d like to think that if this other “Lauren Rosenberg” had had the gumption to add another zero to her lawsuit then perhaps these people would have thought more of me. And, perhaps Google would have responded to me, because when I repeatedly reached out to them for their help or support they not only didn’t help me…they ignored me, which to me is worse. To be ignored means that you are not only not important enough – you just don’t exist. At least that’s how it felt to me. Though I was being victimized by a case of mistaken identity that involved Google, it didn’t seem to matter to them. I can only imagine all of the frivolous lawsuits Google must face daily. I’m sure they were just on overwhelm. However, at the very least, I would have appreciated a letter in support…
That fateful morning I remember thinking that I needed to hire a lawyer to protect myself from the damage it could potentially become. And then it struck me like a lead balloon. I didn’t need to hire a lawyer; I needed to hire a publicist!! And another lead balloon hit me; Oh my God, I’m a publicist!! So, I hired myself.
Talk about taking matters into my own hands! Immediately I posted on my blog, on my website, and all of the social media outlets “A Case of Mistaken Identity”. From there I notified the LA press. It took them all of 2 minutes to call me on the story. That night I was the lead story on KTLA and ABC7 evening news, and featured in the next day’s LA Times, followed by other national media outlets. Even Good Morning Arizona was kind enough to have me live as a guest on their show.
However, with all the creditability the press gave me where I was given the opportunity to not only tell my side of the story, but also differentiate myself from the other “Lauren Rosenberg”, it seems that her story just won’t go away. We all know that whatever gets posted on the Internet stays forever, and forever is too long for me. Now, whenever you Google my name, the story about that girl who sued Google and that poor man takes precedence over all of my career updates and highlights. Oh, and to make matters worse, her case was even thrown out of court!
I mean, if I had been the one suing Google, I would have at least added another zero or two, right? That way I would have not only gotten their attention, they probably would have at least taken my call.