Facebook CEO: Keep private life out of lawsuit
New York, September 1, 2010
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg says a lawsuit by a man who claims to own a huge chunk of the popular social networking website is seeking to uncover unnecessary details about his private life to harass him.
Zuckerberg is fighting a civil lawsuit filed by Paul Ceglia, an upstate New York resident who claims an 84 percent stake in the privately held company, believed to be worth several billion dollars.
Ceglia, an owner of a wood pellet fuel company who lives in Wellsville, New York, is trying to return the case to a New York state court, after Zuckerberg moved it to federal court.
'They filed this remand motion to harass defendants under the pretext of obtaining jurisdictional discovery into Zuckerberg's private life,'' lawyers for Zuckerberg said in a Monday filing in the federal court in Buffalo, New York.
Ceglia alleged in a June 30 lawsuit that a 2003 contract with Zuckerberg entitles him to control of Facebook. Forbes magazine in March estimated Zuckerberg was worth $4 billion.
It is unclear what details Ceglia hopes to uncover, or Zuckerberg wants to keep from being revealed.
Zuckerberg, a Dobbs Ferry, New York native, launched Facebook in February 2004 as a Harvard University sophomore. He dropped out after that year and moved to California. Now based in Palo Alto, California, Facebook said it has more than 500 million users and 1,600 employees.
Terry Connors, a partner at Connors & Vilardo LLP in Buffalo who represents Ceglia, said he expects to respond to Zuckerberg's allegations in a court filing within two weeks. - Reuters