Dow Jones Seeks Court Help on Phantom Newshound

MANHATTAN (CN) – Already sued by The New York Times for similar conduct, a Queens woman was hit with a lawsuit that says she has been falsely presenting herself as a Wall Street Journal reporter.

Filed by parent company Dow Jones on Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court, the complaint says Contessa Bourbon has ignored multiple cease-and-desist demands.

“Despite the lack of any employment relationship between Ms. Bourbon and Dow Jones, Ms. Bourbon has repeatedly represented herself as a journalist employed by The Wall Street Journal since at least February 2015,” the complaint states.

Represented by Steven Lieberman with the firm Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, Dow Jones quotes from one of three emails Bourbon purportedly sent in May 2015 to Gerard Baker, then-editor in chief of The Wall Street Journal.

“If I can’t work at the New York Times because of him, I have to fully move to Wall Street Jouran [sic] and London Times,” she wrote. “I’m sorry, I may not be able to write news this week.”

In another email — presented as a “Memorandum” — Baker was faced with a demand to pay “Contessa Bourbon, Deputy Managing Editor.”

“I’m glad that my proposed ads got published in our newspaper, webpage and magazine,” she wrote. “Thanks for everyone’s cooperation.”

The complaint also contends that Bourbon attended CNBC’s sit-down interview with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on May 10, 2018. There she allegedly asked a question after identifying herself to Ross and the other attendees as being “from the Wall Street Journal and London Times.”

Dow Jones says its multiple cease-and-desist requests, sent to Bourbon by email and Federal Express mail in 2015 and 2017, have yielded no response.

By using the Wall Street Journal’s trademarks without Dow Jones’ approval, “Ms. Bourbon has willfully infringed upon the rights of Dow Jones, with intent to trade upon the goodwill associated with The Wall Street Journal and other trademarks,” the company claims.

Bourbon, who lives in Elmhurst, Queens, describes herself on Twitter as “Journalist for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, London Times, Guardian, Washington Post: Queen of BARCELONA.”

On one of her multiple Instagram pages, her biography says “New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Princess of Barcelona.”

While allegedly presenting herself as a New York Times reporter since 2013, Bourbon attended a Brookings Institute event, asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos a question at a speech and used bogus credentials to interview the U.S. Turkish ambassador, according to a suit the Times filed in Manhattan Supreme Court last year.

Bourbon allegedly wrote to a congressional staff member asking to cover the Congressional Gold Medal awards event as a representative of The New York Times.

In just the last week, the maelstrom of the @ContessaBourbon Twitter page has included boasts about an upcoming ceremony “awarding [Bourbon’s] legacy,” taking place at either Versailles or the White House. Bourbon also intermittently addressed New York Times foreign correspondent Edward Wong and Jeff Bezos’ wife, separately, “2end my suffering.”

Bourbon promoted her upcoming “Queen Contessa” memoir as “compelling story of Ill-fated love, terror, courage, journalist job, triumphs, golden destiny, w poems.Out Oct.”

On Twitter, Bourbon wrote that a stage-version of her memoir would feature Tony Award-winning Filipina actress Lea Solanga, the star of London and Broadway runs of “Miss Saigon.”

Dow Jones included an AOL email address for Bourbon in one of the exhibits filed with its case. A message to this address Friday did not yield any response.

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