The West Hollywood gay bar The Abbey filed a lawsuit against a comedy writer following her claims on social media that she was drugged by a bartender there. The bar alleges that writer and actress Haley White was lying when she posted she was drugged and that security camera footage confirms she was not telling the truth.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court against White, according to Spectrum News 1. The Abbey is suing White for defamation, trade libel, breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith, and fair dealing. It’s seeking over $5 million in damages.
White, 38, posted the allegations on August 3, writing that she was “severely drugged by a bartender” at the Abbey on July 29. She then wrote that people should boycott the bar, according to The Abbey’s suit.
Camera footage from the Abbey, however, shows White during most of her time there. There’s a gap of 11 minutes when she and a woman go into a restroom together, the news outlet reported.
“At no time can any Abbey personnel, or any other person for that matter, be seen tampering with her drink,” the suit states.
The suit also states that after White’s posting, the Abbey contacted her about her allegations, offering a review of the tape.
Even after viewing the video, the suit states White continued to make “her false claims.”
The bar sent White’s lawyer a cease-and-desist letter about her statements demanding that she make a statement apologizing for her comments, according to Spectrum News 1.
White then partially removed her online comments but left some.
The two parties reached a settlement agreement last Friday on the condition that White post a statement prominently to her accounts by 4 p.m. Saturday. The Abbey alleges the post was not as prominent as she promised, breaching the agreement.
On Sunday, White posted a lengthy message on both Instagram and Twitter.
“After The Abby provided me with new information, including the opportunity to review the video, I now want to correct the record and clarify what happened,” she wrote.
“I apologize to any Abbey employees who've been negatively impacted or threatened in the wake of my comments. I believe their actions demonstrate they are truly concerned about the safety of their patrons, and take measures to make their establishment safe.”
Less than a day after posting the statement online, White posted another to Instagram where she said she wanted people to “hear the entirety of what happened.”
“There is an important additional detail — the footage also shows me collapsing off the seat at a booth not long after having my drink. It shows me being assisted out of the bar by a friend and amazing [woman] I didn’t know. I am deeply touched by the women who stepped in to ensure I was okay,” White wrote.
She added that the only time she's ever felt as sick was when she was drugged years ago.