self-loathing gay man assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell, who was fired for relentlessly stalking and harassing gay University of Michigan student Chris Armstrong, was ordered by a federal jury yesterday to pay $4.5 million in damages.
In 2010, Shirvell started a blog called “Chris Armstrong Watch” that was devoted exclusively to tormenting Armstrong, who was the University of Michigan student body president. In a flurry of blog entries, Shirvell called Armstrong “Satan’s representative,” a “racist,” a “privileged pervert,” and a “liar,” accused him of promoting some kind of “radical homosexual agenda,” published a photograph of Armstrong on which the attorney had superimposed a swastika on a rainbow flag, and spread false allegations of binge drinking and improper conduct on school grounds. And Shirvell’s harassment wasn’t exclusively confined to the realm of cyberspace — several times, he showed up outside Armstrong’s home, once at 1:30am.
Needless to say, Armstrong sued. His attorneys reached out to Shirvell, saying that Armstrong was willing to drop all charges against his former stalker if he simply apologized. But Shirvell refused, so the case went to court, and a jury ruled in Armstrong’s favor on all counts, awarding him $4.5 million.
Shirvell is probably kicking himself now for not taking the offer when he had the chance. Serves him right. Ain’t karma grand?