Over at The Hook, editor Hawes Spencer has been writing about the latest in the slow-motion collapse of the whole Landmark Hotel / Halsey Minor / Lee Danielson thing, with the news of the moment being the Chapter 11 filing by Minor Family Hotels LLC. Within that piece, Spencer mentions that Minor started threatening The Hook with a lawsuit, and links to two e-mails [1, 2] that Minor sent to the newspaper in early July. The first one, sent July 2, reads:
Hawes you are the $7.5 mm man — so far. If it was not for you printing the outrageous comments from Lee and SFG I would not have done so well in court. You have clearly destroyed the value of the hotel with your series of inaccurate and in inflammatory stories based on completely false facts. SFG was horrible, and Lee was just as bad but with the hook accepting falsehood after falsehood as gospel you have made obvious the damages the bad actors can have in undermining a project and an important economic driver to a city like Charlottelsville.
As I said. Christies down $12.5.mm for fraud. Lee bankrupt. SFG bankrupt. You write one more story that is libelous and I have no choice but to go after the third leg of the stool, the Hook. Tell your people to quite inventing facts. Say you are sorry. Haas, I am suing you plain and simple to clear my name with one more nasty false story. Christies can afford to underestimate me. You cannot.
And the second one, sent July 3:
Hawes, trust me. When your down people start to pile on. You are just such an individual which is why you are generally disliked around town.
You need to publicly apologize to me. Divorce and a libel suit are not going to be a good plan for you.You apologize publicly or I am coming after you for lying about me when I was fighting my battles, which were for the sake of the city, not to sell sleazy papers.
The difference between you and I is you bug the fuck out of me, but I on the other hand can and will crush you if you don’t make amends for being such a lying asshole for the last 18 months — you, Lee and the FDIC. Your world is getting small fast and if you choose to take me on too you are not going to believe how far down the bottom really is. I crushed the jerks in my way. Good luck to you.
Wow. Those are scorchers. Minor never specifies what he believes to be falsehoods in The Hook’s coverage, so it’s tough to know what the merits are of his claims.