By Niki D’Andrea
Despite getting served with a gag order and an Injunction of Harassment, San Francisco-based blogger David Nahmod continues to post blogs about a couple in Surprise, Arizona he claims “brainwashed” his ex-boyfriend into leaving him. He’ll participate in a Maricopa County Justice Court hearing via phone on Thursday, September 25, to request that the gag order be removed.
As we reported last month in the Valley Fever blog titled “Arizona Couple Gets Judge to Gag SF Blogger,” Nahmod was ordered to stop doing "anything that encourages others to harass" the couple, including posting information about them on the Internet. Nahmod had written extensively about the couple, Stephen Polich and Kathryn Rock of Surprise, Arizona, at the sites davidsopenforum.blogspot.com and www.lavenderliberal.com, and also shared his story with reporter Lauren Smiley at our sister publication, the SF Weekly (click here to read that story).
In his writings, Nahmod alleges that Rock, in particular, destroyed his relationship with Beecher Goodwin by “brainwashing” Goodwin, whom he claims has bi-polar disorder (which Nahmod says he also has). Nahmod claims Rock has been tampering with Goodwin’s mail (on Nahmod's blog, he's posted a photo of a letter from Beecher saying "I need to get my mail," along with an envelope addressed to Nahmod with Kathryn Rock as the sender), falsifying documents and forcing Goodwin (whom Nahmod says “is barely literate and doesn’t know how to use a computer”) to sign them, and causing him mysterious headaches. “What Kathryn Rock did constitutes nothing less than a gay bashing,” Nahmod wrote in his June 1, 2008 blog.
Nahmod’s tirade against Rock led her and her husband to seek the restraining order against him in July. An Arizona judge issued the gag order in August. Since then, Nahmod has continued to regularly blog about his failed relationship with Goodwin and the hand he feels Rock played in his relationship’s demise.
“I have stopped mentioning her last name and the city of Surprise on all blog posts since the judge’s order,” says Nahmod, who wanted it noted in this blog that New Times contacted him for this story, not vice versa. “I don’t want the judge to think I’m trying to draw more attention to this whole thing. I am obeying the judge’s order, but I’m still talking about this issue.”
Goodwin has been living with Stephen Polich and Kathryn Rock since the fall of 2005. He says he has never read any of Nahmod’s blogs, but that he does have a computer and uses it a couple of times a day.
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“[David’s] delusional,” Goodwin says. “This has been going on ever since I left him. It’s been three and a half years, and he’s still carrying on. He blames Kathryn for me leaving him, but the breakdown was due to him, not Kathryn or Stephen. The reason for my leaving was because I was being ignored.”
Nahmod says he’s going to ask the judge on Thursday to remove his gag order because he feels the whole story touches upon gay rights issues (“If Beecher and I had been able to marry back in 2005, there would’ve been a divorce hearing and Kathryn wouldn’t have been able to do what she did,” he says) and mental health issues (“[Kathryn] used our disabilities to get us raging against each other,” he says). He also alleges that Rock has left more than 20 vitriolic comments on his blog under various pseudonyms.
Kathryn Rock has denied leaving any comments on Nahmod’s blogs, but she's aware that “he’s written several” blogs about her since the gag order was issued. Reached by phone, Rock seemed reticent to discuss specific aspects of the issue, and had only one comment about Nahmod: “I am sorry he’s so miserable and he has so much hate. I hope someday he is able to see past the hate and love himself and somebody else again.”