The attorney for Laremy Tunsil, Steven Farise, says that Tunsil will move forward with an investigation into who hacked his Twitter and Instagram accounts. Thursday evening, moments before the 2016 NFL Draft began, Laremy Tunsil’s Twitter and Instagram accounts were hacked by an unknown person. A video and screenshots of a text conversation were posted between the two social media accounts. Although they were mildly unflattering, at the worst, they ended up costing him up to $13.5M in salary when the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens decided against drafting the offensive tackle from Ole Miss.
Initial speculations focused on estranged step-father, Lindsey Miller, who filed a civil lawsuit against Tunsil earlier this week. The suit seeks damages for defamation and “pain and suffering” stemming from a 2015 domestic incident where criminal charges that Miller and Tunsil filed against each other were ultimately dropped. Sports Illustrated writer Greg Bedard reported today that a member of the Dolphin’s organization said that a “financial advisor who was fired by Tunsil could also be responsible for the social media leaks.” While plausible, most Twitter responses to Bedard found the idea far-fetched, that a financial advisor would need or be able to obtain access to a client’s social media accounts without raising huge red flags.
Tunsil will likely be able to determine exactly who the responsible person for hacking his accounts are- Twitter keeps a record in the user settings for data pertaining to each logged in device and its location. Any additional data needed would be possible with the help of a firm that specializes in information security. New York Post NFL columnist, Bart Hubbuch, says Tunsil doesn’t plan to involve law enforcement and will probably hire a forensics firm instead. Farise says that they have some promising leads and they’ve ruled out step-father Miller and any “scorned woman.”
Sports Illustrated writer and legal analyst, Michael Mcann, says that Tunsil may not have a viable defamation claim if the posts were truthful. However, the hacker(s) could be in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act if the access to data was unauthorized. This could mean a sentence of 5 years in prison for each separate hack or intrusion. Another claim that Tunsil may have is for emotional distress, and Tortious interference, where the “hacker knowingly disturbed pending contractual relationships between Tunsil and a team.” The Tweet from NFL Reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala could be important in this case detailing how the Ravens took Tunsil off their board after seeing the video.
While Tunsil missed out on potential salary dollars from being selected earlier in the draft, as well as possible missed endorsement opportunities, the Dolphins camp claims that they got the “best player in the draft” when they drafted Tunsil. Ole Miss is currently under investigation by the NCAA from alleged infractions that occurred last year, but no official word on whether or not the possible infraction detailed in the Instagram post (if true) is or will be investigated.
Full story: 2016 NFL Draft social media sabotage for Laremy Tunsil