Three years after setting out to clear her name from an Internet smear, the story of a Huntsville realtor is finally coming to light – a story of an online vendetta that went all the way to California, cost a woman most of her business, and involved three people who apparently didn’t know each other.
All of it started over a comment on an online news story.
Monika Glennon of Huntsville received a judgment in her favor in federal court July 3, U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala finding she was the victim of libel, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, which interfered with her business.
In September 2015, Glennon’s name showed up on shesahomewrecker.com, an Internet site for shaming people in affairs. The post accused Glennon of having a sexual encounter with a client’s husband in a home on the market.
That same post showed up on badbizreport.com and others. In fact, a Google search for Glennon’s name still places the story high on searches today.
The post told the fabricated tale of a woman saying she and her husband were house hunting and used Glennon as their agent. The woman stated she was late to an appointment to view a home, but arrived to find her husband and Glennon’s cars parked out front.
When she went inside, the writer said she found the two engaged in a sexual act.
“When I walked into the master bedroom my heart stopped. There on the plush, white carpet was my husband and our realtor,” it reads. The poster claims she took pictures of the encounter as the two were hastily redressing. The only picture with the post, though, was a facial shot from Glennon’s realtor bio page.
“I can’t even describe what it was like,” Glennon told AL.com in 2016. “It was like getting stabbed in the heart. I knew it never happened, but people will believe what they want to when they see it. I knew it had the potential to damage everything I’ve worked so hard for.”
The post referred to Glennon variously as “a nasty slut” and “the enemy of decent women everywhere” with no “remorse or moral compass.” It went on to warn readers not to use her as a realtor. She estimates the post, which was seen more than 95,000 times, cost her about $200,000 in business, and $100,000 in legal fees, according to Gizmodo.
Glennon’s lawsuit sought to unmask who wrote the post. It argued the anonymous poster’s use of her facial photo was copyright infringement. She had no idea who could have done it – a rival realtor, someone she knew who was angry.
“It’s made me look at everyone around me and wonder who did this,” she said at the time.
The person who targeted Glennon was later found to be Mollie Rosenblum, an Athens resident who became offended by comments Glennon made on a 2014 news story from WHNT-19 News in Huntsville. The story dealt with Breanna Mitchell, an 18-year-old from Roanoke, who took a selfie of herself during a visit to the notorious Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, in Poland.
Critics said Mitchell’s selfie was disrespectful, while Glennon, who grew up in Poland, defended her as simply having made a mistake.
Rosenblum, who is of Jewish descent, disagreed. She later said, in a Facebook post, that she felt the selfie was inappropriate, but that those making death threats against Mitchell should be held accountable. Glennon, at one point, told Rosenblum that Auschwitz “belongs to all and was a former killing zone of all,” including Polish people.
Rosenblum’s anger over the exchange, however, didn’t end there. As she later stated, she was in the throes of “full blown methamphetamine addiction.”
“My normal reactions to everyday things, were horribly skewed,” she said. “I was angry. Every time it crossed my mind over the next week I wondered how she could be so flippant, especially as a citizen of the country whom ignored this atrocity. I then proceeded, through the poor decision making methamphetamine so often accompanies… to do something very wrong to this woman.”
Rosenblum said she researched Glennon online and wrote out the story of their fake encounter, submitting it to the “She’s a Homewrecker” site. More than a year later, probably after the site was bought out, the story finally made it to the Internet.
From this point, a Facebook user under the name “Ryan Baxter” began sharing the story at various places, including the Re/Max Facebook page, with Glennon’s bosses and some of her social media contacts.
Glennon went to court, but another post appeared on “Report My Ex,” written by someone claiming to be the husband who had cheated with Glennon, according to Gizmodo.
According to the lawsuit, “Ryan Baxter” was actually an Oxnard, Calif. woman named Hannah Lupian. After she was served with a legal complaint, the Ryan Baxter profile disappeared from Facebook.
To clear the air, Glennon met face-to-face with Rosenblum in an Athens restaurant. It was scary, Glennon said. Rosenblum had been charged in a 2016 Athens kidnapping and assault case.
Glennon’s husband waited across the street from the restaurant in a car, she said, just in case she “had to run out.”
The two women talked for four hours, she said.
“I told her, ‘Ask me anything you want,'” she said. “I told her my life story. Eventually, she told me her’s. I cried. She cried.”
Rosenblum then recanted the story of the discovered affair in an affidavit. She is currently serving time in an Alabama penitentiary for her outstanding charges.
Visit the badbizreport.com post, and you’ll see a comment from Rosenblum, dated from last September:
“This behavior on my part has damaged Mrs. Glennon’s personal and professional life as well. It is my deepest desire to rectify my former sentiment and set right that indeed Mrs. Glennon is NOT an antisemite and i deeply apologize for the harm my slanderous words have caused her, her husband, and friends. Mrs. Glennon is in fact a kind and compassionate person with whom I share many common values. Please accept my deepest regret for the harm I have brought to the lives of her and tjose whom love her.”
The court decision this month orders websites carrying the story to remove it, and for search engines to deindex the story.
Glennon said she felt good that a precedent had been set for other Alabamians who might find themselves facing outrageous, anonymous charges on the Internet. She probably won’t see any money in damages from either woman, she said.
But her business has picked up, largely because of hard work. Only one woman came to her during the three years after hearing her story, wanting Glennon to sell her home after hearing of her trouble.
It is unclear whether the court action will ever completely wipe the story from the Internet. But she remains hopeful.
“I’m ready to put it behind me,” she said.