Spencer Cornelia operates a YouTube channel where he, among other things, examines various kinds of online lifestyle and moneymaking “gurus” who charge often huge amounts of money for a nebulous product. In late 2020, Cornelia received requests to do a video on financial “guru” Derek Moneyberg (real name Dale Buczkowski), who also had a reputation as a dating coach for the company Real Social Dynamics. After doing some research and speaking with dating coach John Anthony (real name John Mulvehill), Cornelia interviewed Anthony about his personal experience with Moneyberg and his evidence of the dubious quality of Moneyberg’s services, including deceptive and potentially unlawful business practices. Cornelia then published a few videos incorporating this interview.
In June 2021, Moneyberg sued Cornelia for defamation and unfair competition, though he did not sue Anthony, who actually made the majority of the statements at issue, until nearly a year later. After the parties went through the discovery process, Cornelia filed a special motion to dismiss under Nevada’s Anti-SLAPP statute, NRS 41.660.