‘Star Wars Kid’ Cuts Deal With Tormentors


From a friend…

Everyone’s favorite force-user, the infamous “Star wars kid” finally got a little retribution for world-wide mockings and public beatings…

As Ghyslain Raza recalled, whenever he walked by his high school’s common areas, other students would jump on tables and chant, “Star Wars Kid! Star Wars Kid!”

There would be a commotion as they shouted and poked at him, trying to get a reaction. “It was simply unbearable,” he said.

An otherwise ordinary teen in this Quebec small town, Mr. Raza had become a worldwide object of ridicule when schoolmates put on the Internet a video of him clumsily pretending to be a Star Wars character.

Three years later, Mr. Raza and his parents this week reached an out-of-court settlement with the families of three former schoolmates they had sued for $351,000 in damages.

Related to this article Latest Comments Comments are closed for this story The settlement annuls a civil trial set to begin on Monday that would have scrutinized one of the world’s first and most-publicized cases of cyber-bullying.

“It was simply unbearable, totally. It was impossible to attend class,” Mr. Raza said.

He said the situation left him feeling drained of energy, and that he let himself go and no longer lifted weights to keep fit.

He said he was diagnosed with depression by a pedopsychiatrist at Montreal’s Sainte-Justine Hospital and his lawyers, in their fillings, said they wanted to have a psychiatrist and a psychologist testify, along with producing his medical file.

Under questioning, Mr. Laflamme and Mr. Rheault conceded their role in spreading a video that Mr. Raza, then 15, had made of himself and left on a shelf in the school TV studio.

Mr. Laflamme said he discovered the tape in April of 2003, when he took school equipment to film a varsity football game.

He showed the tape to Mr. Rheault, who made a copy of it.

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“I thought it’d be an interesting prank . . . I wanted Ghyslain to know what I knew of him, what I had seen,” Mr. Laflamme said.

“All I did was take the cassette, digitize it on the studio computer to pull a joke on Ghyslain. After that, I had nothing to do with it,” Mr. Rheault said he later told the school principal after the controversy erupted.