Major Williams, a Republican Gubernatorial candidate, lost his defamation lawsuit against social media influencer and conservative political activist Corinne Tatum and two other women. Williams dropped the suit with prejudice in September of 2021. On February 14th, Tatum stated the judge ruled that no defamation occurred and dismissed it with prejudice. This case was filed in Orange County Superior Courts, North Justice Center located in Orange, California.
Williams filed suit against the three female defendants for allegedly interfering with contractual relationships, libel, and slander. Williams argued that the defendants acted with malice to smear his campaign. As part of his lawsuit, Williams sought monetary damages. The complaint stems from questions raised by the defendants on social media about his campaign spending and inappropriate behavior with various women.
According to an Instagram live, Phil Mauriello, the attorney representing Tatum and the two defendants, stated that Williams has 60 days from February 14th, 2022, to pay for the defendants' attorney fees of approximately $9,000.
Mauriello of Arete Law said, "We were very confident we would win our Anti-SLAPP motion against his lawsuit. It was a clear-cut case of him trying to silence critics who were exercising their right to free speech on matters of public interest. Under California law, that is strictly prohibited, and when that happens, a lawsuit can be ended immediately."
"We hope that this win shows everyone you are free to comment and critique people running for public office and not fear legal ramifications."
Williams filed this lawsuit in June of 2021 against the defendants after they brought up and shared inconsistencies and red flags in his campaign on their social media platforms.
Williams sued Tatum and the two other defendants, alleging that due to the defendants' "defamatory conduct," he suffered from "upset stomach, migraines, and other physical manifestations of the emotional stress."
Tatum Report, founded by Conservative political activist Brandom Tatum and husband to Corrine Tatum, first covered this lawsuit back in August 2021, shortly after Mrs.Tatum had been served.
Tatum stated with Red Liberty Media that a video posted by political commentator Mauriello, on Instagram breaking down William’s campaign finances was the " tipping point for her." Once she saw the video, she took it upon herself to openly share with her large social media following why she didn’t support William’s campaign.
Cal-Access has all campaign finance records, but Williams only has the 2020 campaign record and not 2021. Williams raised $301,875.25 and spent $139,126.50.
A more detailed breakdown of his finances shows that he spent significant funds on staff meetings at high-end hotels/spaces, luxury car rentals, and a few unknown entities.
Williams first ran for Mayor of Pasadena but did not secure a spot on the ballot. He also did not secure a spot on the recall election ballot and had to be written in.
Tatum first met Williams in 2019 at a BLEXIT ( a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of urban and minority communities ) event where he was a guest speaker. After that event, Tatum stated that Williams sent inappropriate private messages to her on Instagram, and she felt uncomfortable since he was married. She shared this negative experience she had with Williams publicly with her social media following, and many other women shared similar experiences they also had with the Republican candidate.
Tatum also was skeptical of him running as a "conservative."
"He went to the BLM march in Minneapolis, summer of 2020, and said that cops don't care about us," Tatum said.
"Then he turns around a few months later and says he's pro-police. He's a liar," argued Tatum.
Tatum is originally from California, where many of her family and friends still reside, so she said this is very close to her heart. She sees a trend of younger candidates running to make a "quick buck " and take advantage of wealthy donors.
Williams is still set to run in the 2022 California Governor election. He is currently taking donations to his campaign. However, the money is not going to a campaign but an LLC. We reached out to the William's campaign for comment but were unsuccessful.