Former Senate Judiciary Committee counsel Robert Steinbuch sued Jessica Cutler, author of the “Washingtonienne” blog and subsequent book, claiming she invaded his privacy by publishing “in graphic detail the intimate amorous and sexual relationship between Cutler and the Plaintiff,” including his alleged predilection for spanking.
Steinbuch also sued Hyperion Books, a division of Disney Publishing Worldwide, which allegedly paid Cutler a $300,000 advance for her book, after her blog became a sensation.
n his federal complaint, Steinbuch says, “At the time of his relationship with Cutler, Plaintiff did not know that Cutler was simultaneously engaged in sexual relationships with another man, let alone with five other men, and let alone that she was prostituting herself to some of them; and Plaintiff did not know that Cutler was recording the details of her relationship with Plaintiff in her blog, and Defendant Cutler described Plaintiff as, among other things, a committee counsel who likes spanking. That blog is the subject of a separate and distinct litigaion.
Steinbuch also claims Cutler profited by “capitalizing on the publicity generated by her blog and her relationship with Plaintiff” by signing a deal with Playboy that included a nude photo spread of her, and the “thinly disguised novel, of the roman a clef genre,” in which her relationship with him is “described in graphic detail.”
His complaint adds: “Hyperion specifically advertised the book as being in ‘a witty, unapologetic voice, the novel’s narrator Jackie tells the story of … the staff counsel whose taste for spanking she “accidentally” leaks to the office.'”
Steinbuch demands $10 million damages for invasion of privacy, false light, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He is represented by Jonathan Rosen of Clearwater, Fla.