Logan Paul Sues YouTuber Coffeezilla for Libel Over CryptoZoo Game Allegations

Social media influencer Logan Paul made good this week on a longstanding threat to sue Coffeezilla, alleging in federal court that the prominent YouTuber “maliciously and repeatedly” published false statements about Paul’s involvement in the failed on-chain game CryptoZoo. 

Paul alleged in a complaint filed in San Antonio late Thursday that Coffeezilla, the self-described “internet detective” whose real name is Stephen Findeisen, repeatedly made libelous public statements about Paul’s involvement in CryptoZoo that—crucially—the YouTuber knew to be untrue. 

“Findeisen has perpetuated this false narrative, despite knowing it to be completely and utterly false, in order to enhance his own profile and increase his viewership and income in the process,” the 47-page complaint reads. 

The complaint alleges that Findeisen possessed and kept secret scores of text messages sent between Paul and CryptoZoo’s developers that showed Paul’s genuine goodwill and concerns about the game—which failed to live up to its money-making promises and has instead lost players hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Findeisen purposefully concealed all those communications from his viewers, save for select messages that he manipulated and intentionally presented devoid of context,” the complaint read. 

The intensity of language is likely no accident. Intent is a key factor in libel lawsuits involving public figures like Paul. Legal experts previously told Decrypt that Paul’s attorneys would likely have to prove that Findeisen acted with “actual malice,” and that he exhibited a “reckless disregard for the truth” when he made videos and posted tweets accusing Paul of malpractice in botching CryptoZoo’s rollout. 

Potentially making things trickier is the fact that Paul has previously endorsed some of Findeisen’s statements about CryptoZoo. Paul agrees with Findeisen’s claim, for instance, that one of CryptoZoo’s creators, Eddie Ibanez, is a “professional con man.” In Thursday’s suit, Paul’s attorneys referred to Ibanez as a “charlatan.”

Days after Paul initially threatened to sue Findeisen for libel in early 2023, the social media star abruptly backed off

“The war is not with Coffee,” Paul said of Findeisen at the time. “I will be taking accountability, apologizing, and coming forward with a plan in the near future.”

In yesterday’s lawsuit, Paul’s attorneys explained this latest pivot back to litigation was prompted by Findeisen’s continued publishing of videos and tweets over the course of 2023 and this year, accusing Paul of wrongdoing in his creation and rollout of CryptoZoo. 

Findeisen has not yet publicly commented on the suit, though his tweets and YouTube videos listed in Paul’s suit as alleged libel remain online. Decrypt reached out to the content creator but did not immediately receive a response. 

Paul seeks an unspecified amount of damages from Findeisen in excess of $75,000.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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