David Farrier is being sued by a dead man
Contains spoilers for Tickled and The Tickle King.
David Farrier is being sued by a dead man.
David D'Amato, the subject of Farrier's documentary Tickled and the follow-up The Tickle King, died in March this year.
Before his death, D'Amato filed a defamation suit against Farrier and his Tickled collaborator Dylan Reeve in the US District Court in the Southern District of New York.
New York's laws allow the executor of a will to continue a defamation suit, even if the person allegedly defamed has died. And that's exactly what D'Amato's will warns Farrer and Reeve could face.
* Terri Tickle: David D'Amato, the subject of David Farrier's Tickled documentary, dies
* Former TV 3 journalist faces legal threats over Tickled documentary
* David Farrier and Tickled - it was always going to get weird
* Farrier's Tickled attacked as 'liarmentary' by its subjects
In an article on The Spinoff, Farrier said the lawsuit - and the potential winnings from it - were listed as an asset on D'Amato's will.
The will said Farrier and Reeve could face additional legal action on top the inherited defamation suit.
"The Executor does not presently know but intends to explore whether there are additional causes of action against individuals named above whose actions led to the conditions causing decedent's death, and to pursue, if appropriate, additional causes of action for wrongful death or other wrongdoing against such persons."
Farrier and Reeve aren't the only ones facing legal action from beyond the grave. D'Amato's step mother, Dorothy, faces a $40m defamation suit.
In Tickled, Farrier and Reeve revealed D'Amato was behind Jane O'Brien Media, a company creating fetish videos of young men being tickled.
D'Amato filed lawsuits against Farrier and Reeve in Utah and Missouri, where the film screened, but voluntarily withdrew them.
He took the stage at a Los Angeles screening of Tickled, where he threatened to refile the suits elsewhere.
Speaking to Stuff, Farrier said he was not losing sleep over the prospect of legal action. He and Reeve were in a "holding pattern" waiting to see what happened, he said.
"None of this is a great feeling, but ... the very second we started making Tickled we were hit with legal threats, so you become a little bit numb to it, I suppose.
"But I think this is a fascinating situation, and kind of a bit of a reflection on America in a way, this concept that a defamation suit can potentially proceed even when the person who was allegedly defamed has passed away.
"Like, only in America could that be a thing, right?"
Farrier's Spinoff article revealed Jane O'Brien Media had been resurrected following Amato's death, with Amato's associate Louis Peluso appearing to be positioning himself as the company's head.
Farrier said Peluso appeared to be in possession of all Amato's tickling footage.
"We were as surprised as anyone when a Facebook page popped up and a web site and the videos," he said.
"It's like whack-a-mole, you just can't get rid of it. I mean, the entire reason we made this film in the first place was to - I guess that whole old-fashioned idea of exposing something that was going on so it would stop. But it seems to be harder than we originally thought."
He wasn't ruling out further chapters in the Tickled saga.
"At the moment a written piece seemed to be a good way to get that information out there.
"But it's funny, I don't want to be talking about tickling for the rest of my life and making films about tickling and that kind of thing. But essentially we'll see where the story goes."