Who said cyberbullying was a teenage problem? Recent experiences by California resident and bona-fide adult, Paula Bonhomme, certainly prove the contrary. She is preparing to sue the man who spent years creating over twenty false online identities to torment her and scam her out of $10,000.

Janna St. James, the orchestrator of the scheme, met Ms. Bonhomme on some Deadwood forums online, and ended up creating a fake identity — "Jesse James" — who started an online relationship with Ms. Bonhomme. St. James then went on to create twenty separate new identities, talking to Bonhomme and posing as various members of Jesse's family and friends to complete the illusion. The boyfriend would eventually die of liver cancer, eliciting a huge emotional outpouring from Ms. Bonhomme, the fake family members, and even a therapist character introduced by St. James after a (you guessed it) fake suicide attempt.

Over a period of almost two years, the fake relationship dragged on as St. James continued to take money from Ms. Bonhomme, who even made plans to move in with her faux lover into his nonexistent Colorado home. When he "died," she fell into a "deep depression" which eventually put her in therapy as well.

In the first round of court decisions, the judge basically said to Bonhomme, "This is the internet, you should know better," but that decision has since been overturned in an appeal. If you're surprised someone would go to such lengths just to torment someone, you should know better. This is the internet.

Commentarium (2 Comments)

Mar 23 11 - 10:05am
thinkywritey

Bonhomme is suing the WOMAN who scammed her. This has been going on for years, unfortunately. The full story is really quite fascinating, and i applaud Bonhomme for sticking to her guns and sticking it to (the clearly insane) St James.

Jul 02 11 - 6:30am
damn

The internet is scary. This is why my fb profile pic is a Schiele painting.