Controversial socialite, writer and photographer DJ Montano, with his family, approached ABS-CBN and asked for their chance to react to accusations against them posted on a popular blog by his former friend, Australian Brian Gorrell.
The Gorrell blog, entitled "The Talented Mr. Montano", is a series of accusations against Montano as having taken A$70,000 for an alleged fictitious restaurant venture.
The blog has since attracted a phenomenal two million hits since it opened, with Gorrell committing to close the site once his money is returned.
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"I sent this money in good faith. I sent this money for my future, for my business that we were creating together. This was money that I need back so that I can move on with my life," said Gorrell in a previous interview with ABS-CBN Australian News Bureau.
Montano, however, denied that he received such amount from Gorrell.
"Not at all, not at all," Montano said, when asked if Gorrell sent him 70,000 dollars.
Mo Twister, a radio co-anchor in a weekly program that Gorrell has started to do, joined in asking the questions.
"So, the whole opening a restaurant, all of that is completely false?" asked Mo Twister.
"I have no business plans with him, whatsoever," Montano said.
Montano also denied accusations of cocaine addiction.
"I am not a cocaine addict," he said.
Gorrell was offered a chance to listen in on the show through the telephone and respond, but he declined.
Gorrell emphasized he had kept trying to get in touch with Montano for months, but to no avail.
Gorrell instead requested a few questions be posed to Montano like, "Ask him where my live savings are? How he spent it?"
To which Montano replied: "First and foremost, I didn't have any money to spend from him. He was given every bit of it."
Another question Gorrel posed was, "Ask him why he cheated on me? Ask him why he is such a filthy little thief?
"I maybe many things. I have certainly had my share of my mistakes. I’m far from being a saint. One thing I’m not, I am not a thief, " Montano said.
It's a matter of principle
Members of the Montano family were also mentioned in the Gorrell blog and they gave their own reactions.
"What is 70,000 Australian dollars? It is so easy for us to pay but my son doesn't owe him money. It is a matter of principle" said Montano’s mother, Aurora.
"This is some sort of a blackmail. I think when he was able to live here, he lived a very, very comfortable life. He lived like a king. And of course now, he's trying to make something out of this thing. I don't know, he's trying to make money " said Benjie Laurel, Montano’s stepfather.
Charges to be filed vs Gorrell
Montano's legal counsel revealed his clients are set to file charges of defamation and libel in the Philippines or in Australia against Gorrell.
According to their research, blogs have been closed down by Google, and there has been a case wherein United States courts awarded $11 million to someone defamed by a blogger.
Gorrell, on the other hand, said he is ready to face any lawyer and is unafraid because he is telling the truth.
Experts agree that much of the content in Gorrell's blog is libelous and even actionable. But whether a case filed will actually prosper remains to be seen.
After Montano's public appearance, he is also well advised to expect the blog public to react, and he runs the great risk of being exposed if he is lying.
"For Brian, I would like to challenge him to finally have the courage to face me. I have not been hiding. I have not left the country. I am not afraid of him. I will see him in court," Montano said. -- Korina Sanchez, ABS-CBN News