Dirty Girls Author Offers ‘Additional Retractions, Corrections’

By Arturo R. García

Dirty Girls Social Club author Alisa Valdes-Rodríguez revisited her campaign against Ann Serrano López, Luisa Leschin and an adaptation of her book Sunday afternoon, recanting some of her earlier allegations about López, while at the same time accusing López’s attorney, Marty Singer, of harassing her.

From Rodríguez’s post:

To date, Mr. Singer has sent me two lengthy and fascinatingly colorful and threatening letters accusing me of having defamed his clients in blog posts and in updates on social media sites. Singer has hinted he might use wikipedia and other unreliable sources to question my mental health should I refuse to obey his demands for retractions. Sound familiar? It’s the same type of “she-was-wearing-a-short-skirt” tactic used by attorneys defending rapists by re-victimizing their victims. Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez has protested racism and sexism in the past, they say, so it must be nothing more than a habit with her, a mental illness. Mr. Singer has also disturbingly threatened to use blog posts by David Shankbone and others allegedly about my personal struggles with coming out of the closet as bisexual as “proof” that I “lie” on blogs to get attention, implying that invasions of my personal sexual life have anything whatsoever to do with my disappointment in the Encanto script that I read. How ridiculous.

The website for Singer’s law firm, Lavely & Singer, features a Los Angeles Magazine article on him from May 2000, where he’s referred to as “the all-around bad cop for stars from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger to Jim Carrey and Celine Dion.”

Rodríguez wrote Sunday that she had scrubbed a series of posts in December criticizing a development script written by Leschin for López’s production company, Encanto Entertainment, in response to demands from Singer. While admitting to “ill-advised” posts and tweets regarding the issue,  Rodríguez did not walk back from her opposition to what she called a “betrayal of [the] book’s core values” by López and Leschin:

I stand by my core assertions about the draft pilot script I read, and about my having been misled into signing an option agreement that did not deliver on the promises Lopez made to me on the phone as I stared at the carpet in my dining room. I also stand by my vivid recollection of another conversation Lopez now claims never happened, during which time I told Lopez, Ramirez and Leschin that I was a bisexual and as such objected to them characterizing bisexuals as inherently untrustworthy. This conversation happened, and I remember the exact looks upon their faces and the exact salty taste of the appetizer I was eating as we spoke face to face that time.

Rodríguez also wrote that she asked Bel Hernandez, a writer for Latin Heat, an online entertainment magazine, to moderate “a completely off-the-record meeting” between Rodríguez and López. (UPDATE: Hernandez confirmed Rodríguez’s request via e-mail on Monday night.)

According to Rodríguez, Hernandez approached López, who refused to take part. Hernandez has neither written nor commented about this allegation as of Sunday evening. Rodríguez seemed to have taken this to mean that the issue will not be resolved outside of legal channels, and reiterated her apology regarding her posts from last month. However, she wrote:

None of this means the script I read is good. The script I read is bad because it is woven through with stereotypes and because it erased every single one of my African diaspora characters, erased my Cuban Jewish character, erased my only Dominican characters, erased my main Puerto Rican character, and erased my only lesbian character for no justifiable reason, changing them all into stereotypical characters more in keeping with persistent Hollywood cliches. I will forever believe this because it’s TRUE, just as I will always remember verbatim the conversations I had with Lopez that she now claims never happened, because they are ALSO TRUE.

What happens next is anyone’s guess.