Huge toll of sex claim on Montanna Geyer
Friends of Montanna Geyer say they watched the "bubbly, happy" person they knew disappear after Facebook memes incorrectly named her as the woman in Panthers star Tyrone May's infamous sex tape.
Ms Geyer, daughter of NRL legend Mark Geyer, is suing the man she believes published the posts on NRL Memes and NRL Quality Memes on March 4, 2019, which she says left her feeling "completely broken".
Fouad Ghosn, the defendant, denies he owned or ran the now defunct pages that once boasted tens of thousands of rugby league fans as followers.
The District Court defamation trial heard on Wednesday NRL Memes posted a picture of Ms Geyer's statement of claim on May 23, 2019, the day it was hand delivered to Mr Ghosn's North Parramatta home.
Ms Geyer's barrister Roger Rasmussen alleged in court on Tuesday that Mr Ghosn was responsible for two "widely published" posts shared on the day Penrith Panthers star May's "notorious" sex scandal emerged.
"The bird in the Tyrone May video is Mark Geyer's daughter. Happy days at Penrith," one caption read.
His client is seeking damages and claims she was defamed in six ways, including that she was intimately involved in the sex tape scandal and that she was an "indecent and lewd" person who would allow herself to be filmed during sex for the purpose of sharing with others.
Some of her closest friends recalled their shock at seeing the posts for the first time in court on Wednesday, with one saying the ordeal still impacted Ms Geyer, 24, "every day".
"Montanna was a very bubbly, social person and really strong and anything that comes her way she could handle," Jorgia Roe said.
"But when it comes to this image being released, it did affect her quite a lot, significantly. She wasn't really wanting to leave the house at all because of what happened."
Erin Johnston said Ms Geyer became "anxious" because she believed people "would think less of her for being involved in that sort of thing".
Another long-term friend, Taylah Smith, said the normally "happy, outgoing, approachable" Ms Geyer was worried about being recognised on the street after the posts went live.
Wesley Ranson, a solicitor from Brydens Lawyers who has acted for Ms Geyer throughout, said the firm engaged a process server to deliver documents to Mr Ghosn's home address found in an electoral roll search.
The process server also went to the Cosmopolitan Shoes store at Double Bay, which the court heard was connected to the Ghosn family, on May 23 last year to track Mr Ghosn down before delivering a sealed envelope to the North Parramatta property.
In court Mr Ranson was shown a screenshot of an NRL Memes post time-stamped that same day, which he said included legal documents delivered to the home.
"It contains an image of our letter of 23 May, 2019, with the accompanying statement of claim in the proceedings," he said.
Jonathan Cohen, Mr Ghosn's barrister, produced a screenshot of another post by NRL Memes, which offered an alternative claim on who owned the page.
"People have asked me who I am, and they've threatened me all because they don't like the content I produce," the post read.
"My name is Dean Messiter. I live in Parkes, New South Wales. If you have the guts to come and do something about it, come get me."
The trial continues.
Originally published as Huge toll of sex claim on NRL star daughter