STEPHENTOWN, N.Y. -- Brian Holloway said he thought any parent considering legal action against him should think twice at his vacation house in town Saturday.
Police say more than 300 area teenagers swarmed the vacant home for a "flash party" over Labor Day weekend that caused extensive damage and got the ex-NFL star into hot water with Berkshire Bank, the mortgage holder.
Holloway learned of the party in real time via the partygoers' posts on Twitter. He subsequently created a website where he identified some 170 of the teens -- using only material they themselves put on the web.
Now, some of the teens' parents have threatened to sue for damages over his website, helpmesave300.com, which they claim defames their children, according to Holloway.
The former New England Patriots player told The Eagle he thought these parents' anger is misdirected.
"I wasn't there. All I did was reveal it to you," he said. "If your child pooped in their diaper, change the diaper, don't yell at me. It's simplistic but it's true.
"You wouldn't believe the stuff I've been getting," Holloway added.
Some parents, he said, claim their teenagers are suffering from "anxiety and depression" as a result of the considerable media attention given to the case. He said they've told Holloway "if my child commits suicide," the blame will fall on his shoulders.
But Holloway's lawyers and other "top attorneys" from around the country have assessed the circumstance and told him the parents' chances aren't good, he said.
Legal expert and Albany attorney Douglas Rose, on the other hand, told The Eagle he believes the parents have a case.
"[Holloway] may have acted somewhat rashly [in launching the website]," Rose said. "He may have overstepped the bounds of social decency. He definitely exposed himself to some court liability."
According to Rose, social media has created the potential for a flood of defamation cases, because anyone with a computer and Internet access can publish defamatory material about someone else.
Holloway's defense, Rose said, is truth.
"But he's got to prove every Jane and John Doe who might challenge him was in fact there and did damage," Rose said.
In any case, a trial would take 18-24 months and cost any one parent $20-$30,000, Rose said.
In other business Saturday, cleanup continued at the home while Holloway hosted a gathering of more than 100 people from the community to "lift up the scar." The event was even attended by four teenagers who were at the Labor Day weekend party. Holloway praised their courage in the face of the media who were present, including NEWS10 ABC.
"I told I'll yell at you later but I'll be your shield now," he said.
Holloway, also a motivational speaker, said if more children and their parents come forward, the "conversation about how we can change this trend" which he intended to create can begin.
As of Saturday at the home, broken windows had been replaced and soiled carpets removed, graffiti in the garage had been painted over, wood floors were being readied for a sanding and nearly all the items stolen during the party had been returned.
Holloway's website has also served as a means to raise money for breast cancer research.
To reach Phil Demers:
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On Twitter: @BE_PhilD