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For DGT readerz who may remember, a few yearz back we did a story on a woman who filed a large monetary lawsuit against Larry and Andy Wachowski, Warner Bros., and Joel Silver, (responsible for The Matrix and its sequelz/spin-offs) and Gale Ann Hurd, James Cameron, Hemdale Films and 20th Century Fox (responsible for Terminator and its sequelz) in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on April 24, 2003 for stealing them from a manuscript she registered with the United States Copyright Office on February 2, 1983. Her name is Sophia Stewart.
Nearly 3 yearz removed from a web presence we [daghettotymz.com, DGT for short] created for her, many hedz still email me askin' about her. For a period of nearly 3 yearz (2003-2006) our website was the central place the world came to to learn about her case—an honor I will cherish eternally, for we set out to educate the world about her case and I think we were pretty successful in doin' so. It was validated when you could google her name and we'd be the first entry on the list as well as the over 1 million additional hits to our site in the first month of her launch alone. I was extremely proud to have been part of swelling web interest well before anyone else was talkin' about it!
After a sudden turn of events, I felt it was necessary to sever ties with Sophia, simply because the trust factor was breached. So around the early part of 2006, DGT discontinued housing a website presence for her. All this came about from a certain person named, Ital Iman I, editor in chief of some poorly-designed website called Underground News Network who did an interview with Sophia around 2005. This interview included a portion dealing with me and an interview I recorded with Sophia in 2003. When I first read the piece, it caught me off guard. I spoke to Sophia about it, she denied it, so I let it go. Fast forward to February 2008 and I find a link (scroll down to February 2, 2008) where someone reposted this piece on MySpace!
We all know how persuasive the internet can be and havin' done nothing to squash this before with the public, this issue resurfaced, and I could ill-afford to not address it. So here's my response to all who wondered why DGT abruptly stopped rockin' with the alleged 'Mother of the Matrix, Sophia Stewart'...
HOW DGT AND SOPHIA STEWART FELL OUT:
Truth is, I've shown Sophia Stewart nothin' but luv from day one! I did my best in creating a buzz for her on the web and Afrikan people (my readerz) in particular. I did whatever was within my meanz to help her. I paid for and set up a speaking forum for her in Brooklyn, as well as paid for several dinnerz, all strictly on the luv, never wanting anything in return. I went to bat for this woman when no one else would for nearly 3 yearz, speakin' to anyone who'd listen about her case. I defended her even though the majority of hedz still don't believe her (check out forumz like matrix-explained.com). In doin' so, I put my own rep on the line as I faced the many naysayerz who think she's some crazy ghetto Blackwoman who hadn't released a shed of proof other than her court documents! Still, havin' never even seen the script myself but havin' had hourz of reason sessionz (building) with her, I was a believer and knew I could help her get additional exposure via the net, because no media outlets would write about her!
As I said before, when I first read the accusationz you wrote in your piece, I took it on the chin and let it go. Then one night I'm doin' my usual web surfing and I come across a MySpace profile (don't think its yourz) and see someone reposted your piece this past February of 2008—nearly 3 yearz later! Because of this, I knew I could no longer sit idle "takin' it on the chin". Hedz need to know what really went down!
GENESIS: THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING THAT COULDA BEEN GOOD!
With her permission, I recorded three separate phone interviewz. Mind you, I was posting audio interviewz on my site before hedz were doin' it,however, at the time, most still connected to the web via dial-up, so playin' large audio files was an issue. Sayin' this and bein' a graphic/web developer by trade, I had experience in designing Interactive multimedia-based CDs. Sophia ok'd the use of our 3-part inner-view as part of an Interactive/Audio CD where hedz could both read and hear her story, givin' me the blessing to "do whatever to help spread the word."
Having already done the math, I knew from the door this wasn't a money makin' venture. But it was never about that. The costs behind the purchase of blank CDs, jewel cases, printing, CD jewel case coverz, the CD cover, envelopes to ship the CDs, address labelz and postage, the man hourz to design the CD case, production and design of the interactive CD, audio enhancement and production, duplication of CDs and packaging of the final two products (one was an interactive CD, the other was strictly audio), prohibited from seein' any kind of profit whatsoever. I knew all this goin' in.
My reasonz for wanting to invest my time in somethin' that didn't convert to dollarz was simply because I wanted hedz to know her story, and I was willing to foot the bill myself to do it. I never ever asked her to contribute anything financially or otherwise. At the end of the day, I actually lost money doin' this project.
I can recall when she kept tellin' me she was gonna give me one million dollarz from the settlement money she believed she was gonna get. I alwayz played it down. I also took it as her tryin' to geese me into doin' work for her free, and I alwayz assured her there was no need and that I believed in her case and was helpin' for that reason alone. If I was destined to get rich, then so be it, helping her really was rewarding enough. Bein' a graphic and web developer by trade, I knew I could effectively make some cyber-noise for her!
She never uttered anything to me about giving her a cut of the CD sales until late 2005. You mentioned in your piece the two of you speakin' 'bout this. I ask you, if I intended to profit off this project, why would I have 2 of the 3-parts of the interview available to be heard on my site for FREE the entire duration her material was on my site (almost 3 yearz)?!
Here's an additional important fact you woulda found out if you tried to hear the other side of this story, for nearly 3 yearz... lemme say it again, THREE YEARZ... from 2003-2006, there was a place on the internet hedz could go to and read/hear about her case for FREE! Sophia would send me PDF court files to upload about her case and updates on her case and hedz were eatin' it up! All this material resided on my site, FREE of charge for her and the public, for nearly 3 yearz and I never, ever asked her for a dime—none for designing her pages on my site, none for the maintenance of her material, not the slideshowz, scannin' and PDF-ing her documents, not even for hosting it on my site (every site payz a monthly hosting fee)! Not 1 cent!!
I probably worked over 1000 man hourz helping her, not to mention the additional voluntary man hourz I spent posting messages on forumz, blogz, sending emailz and links to any and everyone who'd hear about her case. And never, ever did I utter to be paid for my effort and time. My sole reason for doin' this was because I was aware of the hill she had to climb. She's Black—on top of that, a Blackwoman—who dares to do battle with somethin' colossal as the movie industry and she needed help, and I knew I had one way of effectively doin' so.
Now, I may have been wrong to put my logo on the graphic images but it was done so hedz would know where they can get the info from. With hedz takin' jpeg images from the site and emailin' them everywhere, how else would one know how to find the site that had her content?! Nowhere on any picture or PDF file do you see copyright information on my magazines behalf. Besides, any idiot would know the files weren't mine, they're public domain!
And as far as your accusation of my makin' a site without her permission—WRONG AGAIN! Sophia and I talked several tymz a week and I told her I was willing to design her own site so that she'd have her own web identity for her ever-growing fan base. I created a template, she liked it, but told me to wait on the advisement of her lawyerz, which I did. Eventually, she did get her own site up through another designer, and I wasn't the slightest disappointed! I wanted and pushed for her to get her own site, it didn't matter if I designed it or not.
I knew havin' her own site would legitimize her case 'cause runnin' off my site, hedz were disputing it simply because of my site bein' Pan-Afrikan-based, in addition to my ebonic spelling and use of 'z's at the end of wordz—a battle I continue to have with certain hedz who can't handle the depth of the material we present on DaGhettoTymz.com. They'd rather criticize not the information but the way it's spelled(??). I've long believed knowledge ain't for everybody, for there are many who prefer to not know, 'cause knowin' deemz responsibility. So if hedz don't wanna deal with the science, it ain't my loss.
You also spoke of the disclaimer I had on my site. Guess who told me to put that there? SOPHIA! Doin' this made her exempt from havin' as you noted, a website of her own (again, as her lawyerz advised.) Do your homework, Sun!! So far, you're more of a person who gossip's, spreadin' rumorz rather than presenting facts!
Eventually Sophia did launch her own site, and still hedz continued comin' to mine. Even up to before I deleted her files from my site, we were still the #1 google link. Hedz would email me with comments and questionz for her even though her contact info and link to her site was on my site!
THE TIPPING POINT
Of the numerous comments we'd get, most were skeptics—and I couldn't really argue with them because their claim was legitimate. Eventually hedz started insisting on seein' the script, shiiiiit, I wanted to see the script! What many don't know is I had been askin' her for it from the beginning. She kept sayin' she'd send me excerpts to put online yet at the end of the day, I never got it!
By now there were a barrage of Matrix fan-based forumz callin' her out, sayin' she was a fraud. Her credibility was goin' south, and unfortunately, I was hitched at the side. After talkin' 'bout this with her for the upteenth time, she then told me she was writing a book entitled, "The Third Eye" that would include the treatment and excerpts that were allegedly stolen. Havin' heard this, I resolved to anxiously await the book's release. Every so often, I'd ask her for additional proof to put on the site to appease the ever-growing skeptics, she kept talkin' 'bout this book.
I understood the science behind it, the buzz was red hot, so hedz would no doubt buy her book! And I wasn't against that, "it's yo story! Get that gwop Sophia!", I said to myself. Only beef I had was her decision for the the price of the book... a whopping $100! WTF?! The lack of evidence plus her decision to make her long-awaited story to be in a high-priced book lit some skepticizm in me. It was then I started to realize my credibility was in question, hedz wanted to believe, but and all they had were PDF court documents! Then came the call...
THE BEGINNING OF THE END
It clearly showed she was either hustlin' me or desperate 'cause she said this to me several tymz during the same phone call. I mean, after all the work I did for her, I couldn't even get an excerpt of the excerpt or at even some kind of discount?! Our relationship became obvious at that point. Regardless of everything I did, it apparently meant nothin' to her.
A short period later, Sophia called one night and pulled what I have since resolved as a 'Jedi Mind Trick'! She told me there were some people who claimed I had been makin' a lot of money from the Interview CDs I did of her and that they were mad at me for not giving her any of the "profits". She claimed it would shed a bad light on me for it wouldn't look good if this newz spreaded throughout the internet grapevine. She suggested I send her some money as a solution.
After realizing this was not a joke, I started thinkin' of all the discussionz we had where she would mention how expensive her lawyerz and the case were becoming. To help, I brought up the idea of puttin' a portion on my site where hedz could donate fundz to offset the cost of her case. In addition, I emailed hedz askin' for donationz to her cause.
The pending question really was, "So how would people know about this?!" She acted as if she had no idea who was spreadin' this allegation and I didn't want to believe she was tryin' to play me, "this is the Mother of the Matrix, yo! She wouldn't do this!", I thought to myself. But it was becoming clearly evident. After hearing her tell me this I realized I just received confirmation of what I had been grapplin' with myself not to believe, I was gettin' hustled!
Mind you, I hadn't read your post nor interview you released yet. Up until recent, I really had no reason to think she'd abuse our relationship, so "gettin' got" never crossed my mind and it wasn't the fact she was tryin' to get money from me, it was her tryin' to guilt me into doin' it. I thought of what she said, "it wouldn't look good for otherz to know you been sellin' this interview and hadn't given me any money!"
I resolved to give her a donation from an independent music showcase I was producing—the short-lived MicCheck Series. I decided to do one last thing for her by adding awareness of her case and donate proceedz from the event—that I totally sponsored out of pocket—then cut her off.
Still in a fog, I was so disappointed in her and what puzzled me most was how, with all the many hedz Sophia claimed to know—from Laurence Fishburne to Sean "Diddy" Combs, Johnny Cochran to Janet Jackson (to name a few)—why she was tryin' to squeeze money out of lil' 'ol me when she could get much more from these hedz?!
Then came the body blow... Shortly before my show, someone sent me a link to your interview with her and what you wrote about me. What made me believe she was behind this 'not receiving any fundz from the CDs' claim was the fact that it was somethin' only she and I knew about. Not that it was a secret, but how else would you know she hadn't received anything? Again, we never discussed her getting/not getting a cut from sales, the topic of her getting anything never came up because there was no profit to be made!
I immediately called Sophia and asked her to tell me if she had this discussion with you (again) which she emphatically denied! She still insisted on not knowin' you... yet you have a transcript of your interview, so somebodyz lyin'!
After my show, I sent her a donation and wiped my handz clean. I never mentioned that I read your piece and decided to let it go. But after a fellow DGT reader sent me your link again, I emailed her the link to your post and wrote, "Hmmmm... interesting!" I'm not shocked I never got a response nor have I talked to her since.
And although I wish her well, her bein' the self-appointed "Mother of the Matrix"—a name she still uses that a close friend of mine coined for her which I'm sure he's received no credit for—I don't see her winning her case if she continues with her current strategy. They can afford to simply wait her out, they have the money to do it and they know she doesn't. I shared a different plan of attack with her before our relationship soured and what she want me to do? Spearhead it (again, for free)!! Fool me once...
If she stayz on this track of burning bridges of honest hedz like how I was for her as well as several other hedz I know who had similar experiences, she doesn't have a chance to be what she alleges to be the mother of... this Matrix! I mean, it's 2008 now, how come the alleged creator of the Matrix trilogy can't beat the matrix? hmmm... maybe I oughta shell out $100 for that book and find out! Aww dam, too late...
If you look online, her book, 'The Third Eye' seemz to no longer be available. I have no idea why it isn't, nor can I explain why all her websites are down. But you can get a review of her book from a few who bought it on Amazon.com.
So there you have it, the other side of the story; the one you decided not to pursue! Marinate on that!!
*2009 UPDATE: I still receive emailz about her winning her case. This is not true, a lie fabricated by someone who posted an blog yearz ago that still seemz to be circulating.
Regarding her and I, she recently sent me an email claiming "I was nobody before her..." and commented on my financial status (that I'm broke, etc), yet in the same, deranged manner, would send me meaningless propaganda regarding her "case" and dispute with lawyerz. My last contact with her (after putting her in her place), was telling her of my complete 100% disinterest in her and her case, that I was blocking her emailz hence forward, to get a life and stop sweatin' me!
I tell you, the next time someone emailz me about her alleged victory, I don't know what I'm gonna do... Don't believe what you read, ya'll. Sophia don't have enough money to fight these courts, nor, frankly, the wits!