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The "Karen" of Irvine

Alongside the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, racially charged incidents involving “Karens” have been in the news. In this article, we address how you can defend yourself and obtain redress against a “Karen.”

The incident described herein happened to one of our clients. We relay the incident with our client’s permission, but we have excluded his name as well as the actual names of the “Karen” and others involved.

The Incident

Our client is a resident of Irvine, California. His neighbor, who we will refer to as the “Karen of Irvine” is (like most “Karens”) an American middle-aged white woman who is racist and extremely entitled, and who displays aggressive behavior when she does not get her way or is confronted with her own wrongdoing. The aggressive behavior that a “Karen” will typically engage in includes calling 911 to make a false report of a crime.

The Karen of Irvine – through her boyfriend, who we will refer to as “Kevin” – demanded $5,000 from our client. Our client did not owe “Karen” or “Kevin” money. It appears our client was targeted on the Karen of Irvine’s racist assumption that our client must be wealthy because he is a financial professional of Asian descent. After our client refused to pay, Kevin threatened our client by referring to him as an “Asian douchebag” and stating he would teach him a lesson. Karen called 911 to report that our client was involved in a hit-and-run accident in which a pedestrian was killed.

The report was false.

Because the report was false, the Irvine Police Department took no action on it after responding to the 911 call. Nevertheless, our client suffered reputational and financial harm, and severe emotional distress, from Karen’s false claim that he committed a crime and killed someone.

Our Behalf of our Client

We conducted an investigation on our client’s behalf, which revealed that the Karen of Irvine and Kevin frequented vineyards and went on lavish trips to Europe. To finance their lavish junkets, they allegedly resorted to extorting money from minorities and others they perceived as vulnerable.

Courts records revealed that Kevin entered into a sham marriage with a woman of foreign descent so she could obtain lawful immigration status. After entering into the marriage, Kevin allegedly threatened his wife with deportation unless she paid him and the Karen of Irvine substantial sums of money. Court records further revealed this sham marriage was annulled.

In addition, the Karen of Irvine and Kevin allegedly convinced friends and family of another woman, who was struggling with mental illness, that they would act as her caretakers. The Karen of Irvine and Kevin then allegedly withdrew approximately $5,000 from this victim’s bank account without her authorization. Court records reveal that this unauthorized withdrawal may have resulted in the victim’s inability to pay rent and consequent institution of an eviction proceeding against her.

Court records further revealed that a lawsuit arising from this unauthorized withdrawal, naming the Karen of Irvine and Kevin’s victim as a plaintiff, was filed. A judgment for the amount withdrawn was entered in the victim’s favor.

It appears the need to satisfy this judgment was a motivating factor in the attempted extortion of our client; of course, in addition to the Karen of Irvine’s racist assumptions about persons of Asian descent.

Upon the conclusion of our investigation into the Karen of Irvine, as requested by our client, we will be filing a civil action against her and Kevin alleging, among other causes of action, slander and attempted extortion.

What should you do if you’ve had a run-in with a “Karen”?

Cellular phones are ubiquitous and they have made it possible for victims of racist abuse to record and upload incidents of bigotry to social media, where they sometimes go viral. Doing this, however, may lead to civil or even criminal liability. California law, for example, prohibits surreptitious and (in many cases) unconsented recording. California law also prohibits invading a person’s privacy – even a “Karen’s” privacy.

A better approach is to contact our experienced attorneys. As you can see from the incident described herein, our attorneys are capable of conducting a thorough investigation into a “Karen’s” background and relevant past, and developing a strong evidentiary foundation for a lawsuit.