They say that a man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client. Andrew Shirvell questioned himself on the witness stand for more than an hour Wednesday in an attempt to convince a jury that he was just upset with the decision by University of Michigan Student Assembly President Chris Armstrong for pushing for gender neutral housing and that he is not some kind of anti-gay monster.
Armstrong, who was the first openly gay president of the University of Michigan, sued Shirvell last May claiming “defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, abuse of process, invasion of privacy, and stalking.” Armstrong is requestion at least $25,000 in damages and an injunction against future wrongdoing.
Armstrong posted blog articles attacking Armstrong, including pictures of Armstrong photoshopped along side Nazi symbols.
Shirvell told the jury that he had “no hate in his heart” and “My blog was political speech. I viewed my blog as a movement to get Mr. Armstrong to resign. I personally felt Mr. Armstrong was too radical for the position.” Shirvell graduated from the University of Michigan back in 2002. Shirvell, under cross-examination, did admit that he focused only on Armstrong and did not make any statements about the other students and student groups who were pushing for the change in the housing policy.
Shirvell was fired from his position as an assistant AG in Michigan. His suit against Armstrong was dismissed.