Vancouver Area Alt-sex Promoter Faces Lawsuits & Controversy

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August 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm  •  Posted in BDSM in the news, Corporal Jim Brown by  •  5 Comments

Local fetish promoter Jennifer Skrukwa, aka Jennifer Zurba and commonly known as Jennifer S. within the kink community and online, has been hit with two lawsuits in recent weeks.

The more serious of the two lawsuits was first reported on by the website Courthouse News last week. Reporter Darryl Greer* reported that Skrukwa is being sued for defamation in BC Supreme Court. The suit alleges that Skrukwa posted status updates on the website Fetlife.com in which she claimed a local man sexually and physically assaulted two women; claims, the suit alleges, Skrukwa knew to be false.

Greer immediately thought the case was significant. “That lawsuit was quite fascinating because I’m unaware of any other libel claims arising out of a status update on a social networking site,” Greer wrote in an email.

A Complicated Story

A post from the plaintiff in the case, “J,” alleges the trouble began for him as follows: “On July 31, 2012, Jennifer_S contacted me by telephone and advised me that she had given my real name and telephone number to the RCMP as part of the Cpl Brown investigation. She also called my partner and informed her of what she had done and asked her if we were married. (A very odd question.) When I asked her why she had released my details, she said it didn’t matter why, it was done and that was it. When I pressed her for further information, she hung up on me.”

An RCMP officer shared recently that to the best of his knowledge Skrukwa had not been in touch with the RCMP at that point. Why Skrukwa would indicate to J that she had been, and then refuse to make any statements about that is a source of speculation in the local kink community.

Through his lawyer, the complainant in the case declined to be interviewed by Erotic Vancouver. Those close to him have pointed out that Skrukwa’s allegations against him came only after he had spoken out against her, a tactic they say is common for her.

Following Suit

Skrukwa is also being sued in small claims court by former landlord Newcorp Properties. While the suit itself, for rent as a result of breaking her lease, has no relation to the defamation suit, some of the allegations contained within it further bring Skrukwa’s honesty into question. Landlord Newcorp Properties claims that Skrukwa had entered into the lease under both her name and doing business as Loving Life Centre Ltd. In Schedule A of their suit they claim “The Defendant is not incorporated under either the laws of the Province of British Columbia or the laws of Canada.”

To include “Ltd.” in a company name you must be incorporated according to BC law.

Newcorp also states in the suit that Skrukwa was “to use the Premises for the purposes of general office space, consulting as well as conducting business as a ‘Life Coach Company’ and for no other purposes.” The premises were in actuality the home of Libido Lounge, which held regular sex parties in addition to educational sex seminars. Skrukwa regularly made claims that she had “dotted all her i’s and crossed all her t’s,” to make sure she was properly licensed for such parties.

At the time the Lounge closed Skrukwa indicated it was because of an insurance issue. No mention of breaking her lease was made.

Controversy and Name Calling

Skrukwa has been mired in controversy recently, stemming from a related post on Fetlife in the discussion group “Vancouver BDSM,” on August 1st, in which it was alleged that someone in the local kink community had provided the names of other kinky individuals to the RCMP. This person was identified by this Erotic Vancouver blogger as Skrukwa later in the same thread. Most of the controversy stems from the fact that Skrukwa ran the event company Libido Events and the now-defunct sex positive space Libido Events; other posters to the group believed that the identifying information Skrukwa was alleged to have provided was gained from lounge membership records.

Skrukwa’s website states “Our privacy policy is that we keep all information confidential.” The website says the policy specifically applies to all attendees at events, lounge members, anyone sending a request for information and anyone signing up for the mailing, “as well as any others not listed.”

The thread quickly became a sounding board for those supporting Skrukwa, and those who pointed to this as simply the most recent ethical breach by the promoter. Alleged cases of outing individuals in the past and suggestions that she had improperly made accusations about other promoters’ events began to mount up. Skrukwa herself did not join the fray, although her husband did. Posting under the screen name “gentle_warrior,” he called those speaking out “sad pathetic voices,” “sad pathetic losers,” and “jabber jaws.”

Several other threads have since taken up the discussion, and with the lawsuit and subsequent press coverage the debate has gone network wide.

Waiting on Answers

As criticism of Skrukwa has mounted online and in the kink community, she’s fought a fierce battle back. She has made statements attacking the character and actions of those who have questioned her, including towards this blogger. It was the most serious of these attacks that has lead to the Supreme Court suit.

Skrukwa had not returned calls by the time this article was posted to answer questions about the lawsuit.

While the local kink community continues to ask questions about what has happened, it seems that those answers might have to be found in court.

 

DISCLOSURE:

Reive Doig and Jennifer Skrukwa were business partners from 2000-2003. The split was not amicable. In 2011 Reive Doig agreed to present a seminar and give the keynote address at a conference organized by Skrukwa before backing out citing “ethical concerns.”

*CORRECTION: This story originally misspelled the first name of reporter Darryl Greer.

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5 Comments

  1. The Onion / August 30, 2012 at 8:30 pm / Reply

    For anyone interested in the unredacted article, here:
    http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/08/21/49473.htm

  2. Jamie Lee Hamilton / September 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm / Reply

    It is really concerning to see these attacks. I don’t know Jennifer S but so far there has been no evidence provided that she disclosed names to the RCMP. All you have is one individual who has filed a lawsuit against Jennifer Skrukwa and his word that she turned over his name to the RCMP. I am deeply troubled when allegations are made regarding sexual assault of women and I guess the individual who is the plaintiff will be required to disprove the said allegations in court. What is interesting Mr Doig is how you blacked out the plaintiff’s name on the official court documents and I wonder why you have done so? After all an official court record is exactly that and anyone can go to the court registry and find out who filed the libel suit. Not sure why you are being so secretive Mr Doig? Hopefully you are not using this as a way to get back at Ms Skrukwa for some past misdeed or two in the past. In your allegations on Fetlife Mr Doig can you prove that Ms Skrukwa provided names to the RCMP? I would tread carefully there since Jennifer S could file a libel suit against you and I would hate to see this since you are a Board member of PACE an organization dedicated to assisting vulnerable and exploited women.

  3. Justice / September 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm / Reply

    Comes as no surprise to lots in the swinging lifestyle and SM community. Lots of people have been outed, or defamed, or even worse by Jennifer.

    She’s two faced, super cute to lifestylers that give her what she wants and super evil to those that don’t, if she thinks she can get away with it. Most are quiet about it because she’s a “community leader”.

    Jamie Lee Hamilton – she accused the guy suing her of raping people, posting it publicly on Fet. in her timeline. THAT’s what she’s beeing sued for. Not outing him, though she did that too. So the proofs in her own words.

    Proof exists in the screenshots of dozens of people who were smart enough to capture her status updates before she deleted them. So there is an electronic record, proof, in her own words, of her libel. It should be an open and shut closed case.

    Mr. Doig won’t need to prove anything as he’s not the one taking her to court. It’s not one, but TWO, OTHER people suing her, in two SEPARATE legal disputes. I doubt Jennifer_S is in a position to go after anyone else.

    When two completely unrelated parties are suing someone, and a third party is publishing these kinds of concerns, and a large number of other people are coming out with their own terrible experiences with Jennifer.. it seems pretty clear who the problem person is, and it’s NOT Mr. Doig.

    Jennifer_S leaves a trail of destruction behind her. More and more people have started to notice, and people are starting to hold her accountable for it. Hopefully more lifestylers will realize how much of a con woman and how selfish and dangerous she is and no one else will be hurt by her.

    Ideally this will become mainstream news, and Taboo and other organizations supporting her will realize they have a ticking time bomb on their hand and cut her loose before more damage occurs.

    Not able to tell my personal story with her, or I’d be suing her too.

  4. Jamie Lee Hamilton / September 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm / Reply

    @Justice well there are many in the BDSM lifestyle who are not saintly but that aside, my understanding of this is that yes Ms Skrukwa made allegations of a rape or sexual assault and it was posted online. The plaintiff in this lawsuit alleges it was him that Ms Skrukwa made the allegations against. It is my understanding that in a court of law regarding libel that the onus will be on the plantiff to prove he didn’t commit rape as alleged by Ms Skrukwa. Rape as we know is a serious issue and hopefully there are no false allegations being made here but this is best left up to the courts to decide. That is called justice. Slagging Ms Skrukwa’s character conline is not a good defence in a legal matter which will have serious consequences for the BDSM community.

  5. Ssmith / November 4, 2012 at 7:47 am / Reply

    What? The onus on him would be to prove that he didn’t commit rape? Give me a break! The onus is on the Crown to prove that he DID rape someone….Sexual assault is a criminal offence, and unless he’s been convicted already, he’s innocent until proven guilty. Sheesh!

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