Ariane Friedrich has caused a firestorm of controversy in Germany by publicly naming a person she says is her cyber-stalker. She reprinted an email purportedly from Thorsten Dersch of Allendorf, Germany, who she explained to fans had sent her lewd email messages in private. You can read those Facebook messages below and see photos of Ariane Friedrich.
She says that Dersch had been sending her explicit messages including x-rated photographs. We cannot independently confirm that is true, but she is hopping mad about it. She decided to out his name as her stalker by publicly disclosing his email on her Facebook page, which you can find here.
Ariane Friedrich is a very pretty 28-year old female athlete who will compete at the 2012 Summer Olympics as a high jumper favored to win the gold medal. She is naturally blond but often competes in bright pink hair. As one of the hot women in sports, she has a wide following among women and gawking men alike. Clearly her glamorous photos explain why.
What Ariane said on her Facebook page, however, has opened a firestorm of publicity and reflection in German society concerning the public condemnation of private citizens who have not been convicted in a court of law. You can read reactions here and here. Authorities are investigating both sides of the controversy, both her stalker and her own actions in naming him. It is even possible that someone masquerading as Thorsten Dersch sent the pictures. One cannot be sure.
But Ariane Friedrich stalkers have apparently existed before and she is tired of it. She says that in the past men have harassed her and she is taking matters into her own hands this time. So she took to her Facebook page last week with the following sensational post:
“Dear followers, I just received the following email to my Facebook account from Thorsten Dersch, residing in Allendorf, who wrote:
‘Would you like to see nice pen1s, showered and shaved fresh?’
In addition, he sent it with a file that I will not open.
No Lord DERSCH, I would like to see your photos of genitals, or those of other fans.”
Posting on Ariane Friedrich’s Facebook page, April 16th, 2012
After her fans reacted she posted the following in her native German so that people will understand why she outed him:
Dear followers, I have read through very precisely your comments to me about my last posting. It is of course a major step to make such an outrageous email public, but it is not the first time that an email like this has reached me, although not by him, but by other people.
I am no longer willing to make me a victims and make me a victim. I am tired of it. Just because I am a little more in public now, that does not mean that people may attack, insult, or sexually harass me. I have not tried to punish him with the release of his name, nor tried to do him wrong.
But taking out the anonymity is I believe a means to illustrate that I am no longer willing to tolerate such things and suffer quiet resentment. How can people defend themselves, especially children and young people, but also adults who are be bothered by perverts and do not know what to do? Should I not to lead by example and demonstrate strength? Should I not show other people how they can defend themselves?
I was offended in the past, sexually harassed, and I already had a stalker before. It is time to act. It is time for me to resist me. And I do that. Not more and not less.
Posting on Ariane Friedrich’s Facebook page, April 21st, 2012
I am interested in reader reactions to this story, from people on either side of this interesting issue.
Video: Ariane Friedrich