More drama in the saga of Seth Dunlap, the gay ex-broadcaster in New Orleans, who stands accused of tweeting “You’re a fag” at himself from his former radio station’s official account, then allegedly demanding millions from the station.
Nola.com reported Friday that Dunlap has fired out civil attorney Megan Kiefer, hired a new criminal lawyer who specializes in white collar crime, and spoke to reporters on the record for the first time in two months.
Also, new court documents obtained by the local news website paint an even darker, more troubling picture for Dunlap — including web searches for how tweets can be traced to IP addresses, and “finding out who hacked your Twitter.” Dunlap told nola.com he is maintaining his innocence.
“[Tweeting ‘You’re A Fag’ from WWL’s account] is something I did not do, and I am over it,” Dunlap told nola.com. “This is not who I am. I have an 18-year career to show that. I will stand on that and my integrity to my grave.”
Kiefer did not return our email seeking comment as of press time, but confirmed to nola.com reporters Ramon Antonio Vargas and Jeff Adelson that she no longer represents Dunlap. He was fired by WWL and its parent company, Entercom, on Oct. 31, when his paid leave of absence ended.
Reports say Dunlap’s new attorney is former federal prosecutor Billy Gibbens, a specialist in white color crime. His other high profile case at the moment is representing a former sheriff accused of rape and incest. We’re awaiting a response from Gibbens to our inquiry, and nola.com reported he has not yet returned their calls seeking comment.
Outsports also reached out to Dunlap but did not get a response before press time.
“This really hurts me to my core because there are so many people at WWL, inside Entercom, in the media in general that I respect and I care about,” Dunlap told nola.com.
Dunlap told the site his relationship with WWL Radio deteriorated after he proposed using the station’s platforms to circulate an open letter he wrote to Saints quarterback Drew Brees over how hurtful it was to see the athlete appear in a video promoting “Bring Your Bible to School Day.” The video was created by the anti-LGBTQ group Focus on the Family. Brees later distanced himself from the group, saying he wasn’t aware of its anti-gay message.
Dunlap told the reporters he was forbidden by station managers from sharing his Facebook letter with listeners on its social media, citing its position as the Saints’ official radio broadcast partner. Dunlap posted the letter on his private Facebook page along with details on the struggle he’d endured as a gay man in sports media.
But his greater struggle now is with New Orleans police, WWL, Entercom, the forensic investigator it hired to look into both Dunlap’s iPhone and the station’s laptop he returned when he was fired.
Between Sept. 12 and Sept. 17, court records obtained by nola.com show Dunlap used the station’s laptop to search the internet for instructions on how to find the information Twitter stores on IP addresses.
As for his iPhone 10, fuggedaboudit. He turned it at a T-Mobile store because of its cracked screen, Dunlap said, once he said station investigators cleared him.
According to the court documents, nola.com reported the homophobic tweet “was sent from a T-Mobile IP address, a unique number identifying a device’s connection to the internet, that was associated with previous times when Dunlap’s phone was used to access WWL’s Twitter account,” the website reported.
“The firm also found evidence that one iPhone in particular, identified by a unique number assigned to the device by Apple during the manufacturing process, was associated with Dunlap’s account on the company’s email server. That account was accessed from a single device having the same IP address as the one used to send the derogatory tweet.
“Throughout the documents, the Police Department refers to the findings of a digital forensic firm run by John Conroy, which was hired by WWL Radio to look through its Twitter logs, among other information. The NOPD hasn’t said to what extent, if any, it has conducted its own investigation separate from that firm’s probe.
“The documents support a search warrant for Dunlap’s Apple iPhone 10, which the lead detective on the case, Denis James, successfully requested on Oct. 22.”
That’s according to nola.com But as Outsports reported last week, a judge has ruled the evidence to be insufficient to support a charge of extortion.
John Conroy’s firm found that Dunlap had downloaded his own Twitter account’s logs onto his work computer, the station-owned laptop.
When examining those logs, Conroy reportedly found more evidence that could suggest Dunlap had sent the tweet.
“The logs showed Dunlap had accessed his own Twitter account from the same IP address that was used to send the insulting tweet from the station’s account at about the same time, according to the new documents.
“All of that apparently led the managers of WWL Radio and its corporate parent, Entercom, to conclude he was the culprit behind the tweeted slur.”
Dunlap’s claim that he did not send the tweet is supported only by his polygraph report, which shows on Sept. 25 he told a licensed expert in lie detector tests that he did not send the tweet, and the report shows he was speaking truthfully. Outsports has seen a copy of that report.
The former talk show host told nola.com he’s begged T-Mobile to give him back his iPhone, in hopes it will prove his innocence, to no avail. On Friday, he rejected the idea that he needed an alibi for the internet searches. He said he and supporters were actually looking at how they could identify the sender of the homophobic tweet themselves.
“My name and my reputation are being tarnished,” Dunlap told nola.com, “And it’s devastating.”