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The Lawyers Behind Lonelygirl

Last week's outing of lonelygirl15 quickly became the stuff of Internet legend. Rumors were already circulating that this YouTube favorite was a hoax when a reporter and his son broke the news on SiliconValleyWatcher that the supposed 16-year-old girl recording confessional videos in her bedroom was actually a 20-something actress named Jessica Rose. The next day, reporters Virginia Heffernan and Tom Zeller Jr. confirmed the story in The New York Times. To gauge the resulting uproar, you need only look to Google News.

Less well known is that father-and-son lawyers played key roles in this Internet melodrama, one in the creation of lonelygirl15 and the other in her outing. The son, Gregory L. Goodfried, a 2005 law school graduate and an associate with the Los Angeles firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, was one of the video's three co-creators, all described by news reports as aspiring filmmakers. His two creative partners, Miles Beckett and Mesh Flinders, reportedly met at a party earlier this year and then joined with Goodfried to script and film the series of short videos.

When Goodfried got his father involved, the scheme began to unravel, not because of the father but because of sharp-eyed Internet sleuths. In August, Kenneth Goodfried, a lawyer in Encino, filed an application to trademark "Lonelygirl15." An astute fan picked up on the filing, and the news swept the Internet. From there, it was only a matter of time before fans uncovered the true identities of lonelygirl15 and her creators.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on September 19, 2006 at 03:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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