It has been reported that games industry veteran Chris Avellone recently filed another defamation lawsuit against one of his accusers. He is now seeking damages, claiming all misconduct allegations were false and were made to destroy his reputation.

Chris Avellone files another lawsuit in Illinois against Karissa Barrows

Image credit: Critical Path

What happened?

As reported by The Madison County Record, Avellone filed the lawsuit in the US District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Karissa Barrows, the Belleville woman who accused him of sexual misconduct in 2020.

According to official documents, the defamation suit was filed on September 28. The complaint contains all information about Avellone’s relationship with Barrows, her allegations, and other details he first revealed in a large post last year.

The famous game designer and writer claims that Barrows sent him hostile messages, later publishing false statements and accusing him of being a “sexual predator, preying on underage women.”

“Barrows’ statements had the effect Barrows intended by going viral and destroying Avellone’s reputation and career. Avellone brings this action to expose the truth and vindicate his reputation.”

Karissa Barrows had to respond to the complaint or file a motion within 21 days. However, the summons was returned on October 4, as she failed to respond to it.

Brief timeline of the allegations against Avellone

  • In June 2020, Chris Avellone was accused of using his status in the games industry to harass and prey on women at different conventions.
  • As a result, he lost his job at several game companies, where he worked as a writer or freelance consultant. The list included Techland (Dying Light 2) and Paradox Interactive (Vampire: the Masquerade — Bloodlines 2).
  • In June 2021, Avellone posted a big message on Medium, outlining his side of the story and claiming that all statements made by Karissa Barrows and other women were false.
  • The writer filed a libel lawsuit in the Superior Court of California on June 16, 2021, naming Barrows and her friend Kelly Bristol, as defendants. He asked for actual and emotional damages, as well as a positive injunction and attorney fees.
  • In November 2021, Avellone also filed a separate lawsuit against Bristol in the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Since she hasn’t responded within the permitted time, he was awarded $6,320 in attorney fees.
  • It seems that none of these libel suits were successful. Avellone hasn’t commented publicly on his legal battles.

What are Avellone’s demands?

As stated in the latest complaint filed in Illinois, Avellone is seeking at least $75,000 in actual, compensatory, special, and presumed damages. He also demands punitive and exemplary damages, as well as attorney fees and other relief the court may deem appropriate.

On top of that, Avellone wants the court to require Barrows to “retract all false and defamatory statements” that were published by her or reprinted by third parties.

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