The Trials of Nadia Naffe

By CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 4, 2013

The Brentwood, the last place Breitbart visited before his death in 2012.


Last call

On December 21, 2011, a criminal court in New Jersey dismissed Naffe’s harassment complaint against O’Keefe. A judge at the hearing ruled that there was insufficient cause to proceed in that venue, as there was no proof that the alleged crime originated in the Westwood jurisdiction. But Naffe was also threatening a civil suit for false imprisonment, and she says O’Keefe backed off in the months that followed.

That tentative détente imploded on February 24, when the Emmy-winning correspondent David Shuster, reporting for Breitbart nemesis Keith Olbermann’s Current TV broadcast, inaccurately claimed that O’Keefe was facing rape allegations — evidently referring to the Naffe case. On February 25, Shuster doubled down by tweeting about an O’Keefe “rape plot,” adding that Breitbart’s silence on said plot made Breitbart a “hypocrite.” The right-wing blogosphere went berserk. “There is no ‘rape plot’, you slanderous, libelous wannabe Media Matters smear junkie,” Breitbart replied to Shuster on Twitter. O’Keefe followed up by suing Shuster and Current TV for defamation.

Shuster corrected himself on Twitter on February 28. But the damage was already done. The exchange put Naffe on the defensive, and she began tweeting back at detractors, correcting what she argues were false characterizations made by Breitbart and his followers. In the process, she also began disclosing details about what had happened in the Westwood barn: the candles, the alleged drugging, O’Keefe storming off with his penny loafers.

The split between Naffe and Breitbart was permanent. On February 29, leaked emails show, Breitbart held a teleconference call with a New Jersey investigative firm called Vested Protection Systems to discuss conducting recon on his enemies. He spoke to a consultant named Michelle who followed up with an email noting the targets  they’d talked about and drafting potential methods to deal with them. Suggestions included: infiltrating the faceless collective Anonymous “to cause a rift between the left and the hackers”; further eviscerating Kimberlin’s reputation; ratting out Twitter rivals to Stephen Blair, a Boston Police Special Investigation Detective with whom Michelle claimed to have a professional relationship; and making a “fool” out of Nadia Naffe.

Later on that evening, Breitbart stopped for a nightcap at the Brentwood. A quaint haunt with a 10-page drink list, the restaurant is close to his multi-million-dollar home in Westwood. Breitbart hugged the wood-grain bar, sipped red wine, and fiddled on his BlackBerry. After a terse but friendly political exchange with a stranger drinking next to him, Breitbart settled up and left. He made it just a few blocks before collapsing on the concrete. Paramedics rushed him to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead of natural causes. Breitbart’s final bark was a tongue-in-cheek retweet of a message from an Anonymous operative: “Follow @nadianaffe to find out about her story of assault. This is going to take down @JamesOKeefeIII and possibly @AndrewBreitbart.”

NEXT: With Breitbart gone, the smears against Naffe intensify . . .

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