2016 – A Verdict, A Passing & The Gaslighting Begins
*This narrative is a true statement and the excerpted images illustrating the narrative are used under Fair Use guidelines.
By the beginning of 2016, after six long years, my online presence was a nightmarish hellscape of unthinkable lies, never-so-veiled threats, gory details about my corpse and death, defamatory and often sexual posts passed off as fact, evidence I was being stalked, because of the mentions of the details of my life and all which was still appearing on a daily basis.
These assaults grew more frightening and disturbing with the advent of gaslighting; the favored tactic of both Tracy Terhune and David Bret. They then, and currently, argue they are my victims and perceive my frantic and emotional responses in my defense as being defamatory of them. They wanted and want to silence me and I refused to be then and still do now.
I had and have no interest in either of these two men, outside of trying desperately to defend myself against their absolute lies; such as their claims I had a drug past, a criminal record, warrants out on me, that I forged documents and was and am motivated by an “agenda of hate”. None of this was true then or now.
They trolled my every move and word online and lashed out at me with more posts and psychotic images waiting to greet anyone Googling Affairs Valentino or Evelyn Zumaya. Bret made many references connecting him to Tracy Terhune and the content they presented was further proof of their affiliation. They linked jointly to their most offensive blog targeting me, The Fraud Files, calling themselves “the team”:
To Bret I was “homophobic”, “his stalker”, “senile, elderly” and “obsessed with him”, etc.
After three years, Terhune's Affairs Valentino blog still boasted the same psychotic religious images, such as the Bible, images of Satan, etc. (see my posts here for 2012 - 2015)
In early 2016, David Bret was still promoting his “Spoofs”, which were obscene and denigrating portrayals of me, my husband Renato, our friends and our work. Bret incorporated our living in Italy and other details of our lives which he was able to troll about us online.
By 2016, Terhune permitted Bret to post comments about us on his Affairs Valentino blog, calling me homophobic, old, obsessed and insane.
Bret also continued to deny the lawsuit I filed against him and spread misinformation such as:
*The damages awarded were not a million Euros and as it was a civil case, there would have been no jail time.
This all appeared in adjunct to Tracy Terhune's insults and disturbing images on his Affairs Valentino blog, which were clearly posted and maintained to threaten, provoke and demoralize me and divert my legitimate web traffic. Bret and Terhune's manifestos of lies and insults targeting me, had by 2016 been linked to that Fraud Files blog for five years. There the long hit pieces were signed as “anonymous” and most often signed the “team”. There they anonymously called me such things as: “monster”, “liar”, “homophobic”, “drug-addicted” and worse.
Although they did not post on the Fraud Files blog using their own names, it was from there they broadcast all the same themes and insults Bret and Terhune posted on their individual sites against me.
The Fraud Files presented a new angle of advantage for them with the use of alias accounts and anonymity. In order for me to identify the author of the long, defamatory manifestos about me, I would be required to petition a judge to issue a search warrant to Google. Google by law was then not obliged to comply. There was little doubt Terhune and Bret were behind the Fraud Files because they linked to it from their sites. Terhune would link to a new defamatory piece with the line, “I did not write this, but it sure rings true.” I believe in 2016 he wrote the defamatory posts about me on the Fraud Files and to a great degree.
The Fraud Files blog was opened originally by a Zachery Jaydon, but at one point he announced the blog was under new administration. He never gave a name for the new administrator. Here, Terhune is associated with Zachery Jaydon. From a post made on the Facebook Forum, The Silents Majority:
The Fraud Files blog went deep in the abuse, mentioning my parents, both deceased then, by their first names. They mentioned friends of my parents, my mother donating to a charity and Bret kept a link live to my father's local obituary. They continued to expound on the lie that I abandoned my father and that we were estranged. This was false.
The Fraud Files blog was so triggering to me, I could not see even a screenshot of the home page without experiencing profound anguish. Renato continued to faithfully captured the sites in the hopes we could find a way to stop it.
Here they misrepresent our publication of S. George Ullman's 1975 memoir . They make the false assertion it is a reprint of Ullman's 1926 book which we included in the first publication of the 1975 memoir.
Throughout the spring of 2016, Father Michael Morris continued to support and encourage me in my work and we collaborated on his addendum for his book Madam Valentino. In advance of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Madam Valentino, his biography of Natacha Rambova, he planned to publish more materials from his archive. By then we had worked sporadically on the book for a couple of years. By May of 2016, he wrote me saying he had cancer and with his health deteriorating we set out to finish his new book which he titled, Beyond Valentino.
As I documented in previous posts on this website, Bret taunted and bullied Michael Morris when I made it known Michael acted as my mentor. This was not news as Michael and I attended the Valentino conference in Turin in 2009 together, sat next to each other at all the lectures and meals and this was witnessed by anyone attending the conference. But after I mentioned his support, Terhune contacted him with accusations via e-mail and a phone call. Michael was correct in saying Affairs Valentino was entirely my book, it was. But he did read and edit Affairs Valentino several times over the years and gave the introduction to the first edition its final approval with minor suggestions.
Michael told me how in the phone call from Terhune, he accused Terhune of “trying to bury Affairs Valentino with his diatribes”. He told me Terhune responded saying he “did not write diatribes.” Because of Bret's horrendous insults targeting Michael Morris, Michael had no respect or admiration for either Bret or Terhune.
Michael was in the process of sending me more materials to use as reference, but I was fearful of having my name on Beyond Valentino as not to inspire Terhune and Bret's signature attacks. Michael wrote in response:
On July 16, Michael passed away and the discussion began between myself, his literary executor and his sibling to determine the fate of Michael's Beyond Valentino. We all agreed it would be tragic to let the project die with Michael. I had his essays, his outline for the book and notes, 2000 emails about the project which we exchanged, a cache of photos he forwarded to me which he planned to include and the many contacts he made in Mallorca, Utah, New York and England who were set to contribute to the book. Over the course of many subsequent phone calls and a trip to California, I was charged with the task of finishing Michael's book.
Within days of Michael's death Bret was tweeting and posting his worst insults about Michael which I tried to respond to despite my shock and grief over losing my dear friend. A student of Michael's also confronted Bret about this. The one person who did not confront nor issue a word against Bret's vile attacks on Michael in the days after his death was Tracy Terhune. Notice the date on this post by Bret:
At the same time, Terhune posts his “tribute” to Michael Morris:
Terhune did not denounce Bret's posts and while Terhune wrote his tribute to Michael Morris, his partner Bret was churning out the most vicious attacks on Michael yet. Terhune's tribute to Michael included a statement he exchanged a few e-mails with Michael and claimed in those e-mails Michael said he never assisted me (“furiously back-peddling”).
Michael worked with me for fifteen years, sponsored my trip to Turin and introduced me to Renato. The three of us were dear friends. A few weeks before his death Michael bequeathed his archive to me:
Michael told Terhune in his e-mail response that I wrote Affairs Valentino and the book was entirely mine. This is true. But after being contacted by Terhune, Bret contacted Michael's Superior at the school where he taught. He wrote them Michael wrote "filth" and sent along the entire introduction to the First Edition of Affairs Valentino. Michael wrote me:
I felt it a disgrace that Terhune would misrepresent that exchange with Michael and exploit Michael's death to hit again at me, demean and impugn my relationship with Michael Morris and feign a respectful tribute. It was not a respectful tribute as he followed up by saying nothing to stop Bret, to decry his filth posted about Michael as the “Kinky Priest”.
It also merits mentioning that it is shocking to me Terhune admits he never met Michael Morris. It is also worth mentioning Terhune never invited Michael to speak at the Valentino Memorial service which Terhune conducts. Michael spoke often about that and did not wonder why he was shunned from the podium in Valentino's crypt. He made the claim Natacha Rambova was heterosexual as well as Valentino and he felt this was the reason why.
I allege, based on my close relationship with Michael at that time, that in Terhune's tribute to Michael, he created a false scenario, misrepresented what Michael said about Affairs Valentino, misrepresented his entire exchange with Michael which was an aggressive accusation he partnered with me in writing my book. Terhune obviously used his tribute to provoke me as this was his pattern and common theme. Michael did not “furiously back-peddle” from being affiliated with me and my work as he sent me the following at that time:
Michael was appalled by Terhune and Bret's behavior towards him, me, Renato and our work, referring to them as “the devil's brigade” and “Satan's angels”. When I have posted proof of this with excerpts from Michael's e-mails to me, they accuse me of forging the emails. I did not. I have the complete screenshots of all the excerpts I share as they are preserved on two e-mail servers.
Terhune felt safe to exploit Michael's death to portray us as enemies instead of the close friends we were because Michael could not then respond. Why did Terhune not denounce Bret's public attacks taking place at the same time? Why did Terhune admit he never made a point of meeting Michael? Michael Morris was a man of the highest integrity and would never have anything to do with Bret or Terhune. He did not reach out to Terhune to talk about Affairs Valentino; Terhune contacted him with accusations.
Within days of Michael Morris' passing, the verdict arrived to our lawyer from the Court of Asti. The Judge ruled in my favor and David Bret lost the case which he mocked and claimed did not exist. He was found guilty of defaming me. (read the complete verdict in English on the website)
When I posted this news, Bret began to deny this happened.
My first order of business with the verdict in hand was to submit it to Bret's self-publishing company Lulu to have all the “Spoofs” removed from their catalog. On October 13, 2016, we received the following letter:
Bret acknowledged in a Tweet his Lulu account was closed but later would deny this too. He would claim he closed the account himself but in fact Lulu made the decision based on the case as filed in Asti.
As Renato was then publishing more books, Terhune began to attack them specifically on his Affairs Valentino blog. Within a day of a new book appearing on Amazon, he posted long, overly-critical and mean-spirited, insulting reviews, primarily ridiculing any typos and mispellings. They also utilized the Amazon review feature to ruin our sales.
Through our lawyer we forwarded the Italian verdict to to England to begin the process of collecting the damages awarded. The judge awarded me 30,000$ Euros, which for Italy was a substantially large award. Bret was also remanded to remove all mention of me and my work from all of his social media accounts and publish the verdict at his cost within a certain time frame. He complied with none of the verdict's specifics and became worse in his abuse.
Meanwhile, the account known as 'Cindy Martin” began to work in tangent with Terhune and Bret by providing more comments defaming us and parroting their insults.
With Bret then violating the verdict by posting the same defamation as comments on Terhune's blog, I contacted Google. They told me to contact the administrator of the blog which I did.
Terhune ignored the verdict and continued to provide a platform for Bret to defame.
By the end of 2016, I was working to complete Beyond Valentino and was told by Michael's literary executor I would have my name on the book as “co-author” for liability reasons. I agreed to this with great apprehension, but truthfully then, I could not believe they would attack Michael's posthumous book.
After the verdict, Terhune and Bret became more public about their collaboration in bullying me and Renato. They also attacked anyone I promoted positively in our Valentino books, i.e., the godfather Frank Mennillo, S. George Ullman, Natacha Rambova and anyone expressing support of our Valentino work such as my friend Richard Wayne Walker. My friend Wayne suffered a stroke and could not defend himself but had, as I mentioned previously, written a letter to Bret in support of me and my work. Bret found the wrong Richard Wayne Walker online, who had passed away (my friend is still quite alive) and posted:
The "team" attacked anyone showing us support, or anyone I supported, even our lawyers. The effects of Terhune and Bret's online campaign to ruin our names, began to cost us money and business. People began to fear mentioning us and with reason.
When we filed an order for a press release to be written, the company responded:
By the end of 2016, our online search was increasingly difficult to explain, due to the many sites and blogs full of lies, defamatory information and mockery which were being run by Terhune and Bret targeting us and our books.
We were banned and blocked from reading Terhune and Donna Hill's Facebook forum, We Never Forget. Another Facebook forum, Rudolph Valentino Fans, run by the account of “Cindy Martin” was no doubt in direct affiliation with Terhune as we were also blocked there. Any mention of our books was immediately deleted and administrators Eleanor Gribbin, Simon Constable, Donna Hill, Cindy Martin posted warnings to their followers that I was not to be mentioned nor any of our books.
Finishing Michael Morris' Beyond Valentino was challenging in that I was not a Rambova expert then and had to learn quite a good deal. I also wanted to include all I could from Michael's archive as I knew he would not be revisiting his favorite subject, Rambova again. The only change I made in the design and concept of his book was to include all I could and make it bigger.
I hoped in this beautiful volume, those who might believe Terhune and Bret would think again. I hoped Beyond Valentino would cast me in a favorable light which Michael worked so hard to shine on me. This was my motivation, to stand proud as the person who was given the honor of completing his work.
I hoped Terhune and Bret would leave the book alone out of respect for Michael's memory and that people would seriously doubt their lies about us, our life and our books.
The following blogs by the end of 2016 were actively targeting us:
Affairs Valentino Blog spot; run by Terhune
Valentino Forever; run by Terhune
David Bret Biographer
David Bret Twitter
David Bret Independent
Rudolph Valentino Moose
The Fraud Files
*We were blocked and banned from the following Facebook forums:
Rudolph Valentino Fans: run by Cindy Martin
We Never Forget: run by Terhune and Donna Hill
* By the end of 2016, Renato's publications included:
Affairs Valentino Companion Guide
The Infancy of the Myth – English & Italian
The S. George Ullman Memoir