Woman Whose Bio Resembled Novel’s Character Awarded $100K


red_hat_clubA woman who claimed a novelist and former friend based the character of a sexually promiscuous alcoholic on her has won a $100,000 libel award from a Georgia jury.

Vicki Stewart claimed that Haywood Smith, a former childhood friend, used her as the basis for a character in her novel The Red Hat Club.

During the trial, Stewart’s lawyer brandished a piece of paper with the word SLUT written in large letters, saying, “This is what [Smith] did to the fabric of Vicki Stewart’s life… She made her into a slut, an atheist and an alcoholic. Ms. Smith’s irresponsible words have stained the fabric of Vicki Stewart’s life. These stains will never come out.”

Smith has indicated she will not appeal the verdict, saying “I hope this [verdict] is healing for Ms. Stewart.”

Mark Pritchard is the author of the novel How They Scored and the collections of sex stories "Too Beautiful" and "How I Adore You." He lives in San Francisco. More from this author →