Nashville Lawyer Terrorized Her Ex With Insane Cross-Country Stalking Campaign: FBI

·7 min read
Evelyn Fogleman
Evelyn Fogleman

A scorned lawyer allegedly stalked her lover across multiple states following a dispute over an apparently non-existent pregnancy, publicly accusing the man of heinous crimes he hadn’t committed and making his life so miserable he put a gun to his head because he felt “no more hope.”

That’s according to an FBI search warrant affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast, which accuses 48-year-old Alia Saaed, a Nashville attorney, of embarking on a five-year crusade to ruin her erstwhile boyfriend—a man identified in court records only as “R.J.”

On June 9, the FBI raided Saaed’s two-bedroom Nashville home and arrested her on cyberstalking charges. She does not yet have a lawyer listed in court records, and was unable to be reached. Sandy Garrett, the Tennessee Bar Association’s chief disciplinary counsel, said the organization had been unaware of the charges facing Saaed until The Daily Beast requested comment on the allegations.

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Statistically speaking, stalkers tend to be men stalking women, not the other way around. And although men are reportedly less likely to report being stalked than women—some male stalking victims have said they don’t feel their cases are taken seriously by police—the most dangerous female stalkers are reportedly those who stalk former sexual partners. A 2008 study found that more than half of female stalkers threatened their victims, and about a quarter involved physical violence. However, if the stalker and her target were previously intimate, as Saaed and R.J. had been, the risk of violence exceeds 50 percent.

R.J., 44, and Saaed began dating in 2012, the affidavit says. Things seemed fine until May 2014, when R.J. allegedly told Saaed he “would never want to have a child with her.” A month or so later, Saaed told R.J. that she was pregnant, authorities say. R.J. wasn’t happy about it, but Saaed said she refused to have an abortion and told R.J. to “hit her in the stomach” if he wanted to terminate the pregnancy, the affidavit alleges. He declined. About 15 minutes later, the affidavit says, Saaed told R.J., who is identified in public records as a real estate broker, that she had miscarried.

In the aftermath, Saaed began contacting R.J.’s family and friends, calling him a “child murderer,” the affidavit continues. R.J. “felt guilty for not having been a supportive boyfriend, so he tolerated the harassment,” it says. (The Daily Beast is aware of R.J.’s full name but is withholding it, as he is the victim of alleged domestic violence.) For the next couple of years, R.J. continued “guilt dating” Saaed, during which time she “destroyed...R.J.’s property and kicked him to the point of bruising his ribs,” according to the affidavit.

That’s when things allegedly got worse.

Midway through 2015, Saaed accused R.J. of rape, saying that “every example of sex within their relationship” had in fact been a sexual assault, according to the affidavit. The following year, Saaed allegedly tracked R.J. to a home where he was visiting a friend on Halloween and “told all of the trick-or-treaters that...R.J. was a pedophile.”

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In the spring of 2017, R.J. left California for Nashville. After Saaed found him there and allegedly threatened to get him evicted, R.J. moved to Dallas. But the FBI claims Saaed found him there as well, and got him kicked out of his apartment by impersonating R.J. and sending “nasty” comments to a building employee in his name.

“At this point Victim R.J. believed he would never get away from Saaed and agreed to move to Nashville with her,” the affidavit states.

By 2019, their relationship was apparently hanging on by a thread. R.J. rarely stayed at home, either getting kicked out by Saaed or choosing to stay elsewhere because of her physical abuse, the affidavit says.

That September, Saaed allegedly convinced R.J. to sign a contract—a copy of which he provided to the FBI—promising to pay $1,615 a month toward her student loans for the next 10 years “to compensate for the damages [he] had caused her.” The following month, R.J. moved out. When Saaed showed up and allegedly destroyed his place, R.J. decided he had had enough.

“At this point, Victim R.J. felt ‘no more hope’ and put a gun to his head,” states the affidavit. “Saaed called the police, and Victim R.J. spent 10/04/2019—10/07/2019 hospitalized at TriStar Centennial Medical Center, Nashville, for evaluation. Victim R.J. moved to Savannah, GA, shortly thereafter.”

Several months went by. In July 2020, Saaed allegedly called R.J. and said she was having car trouble. He made the trip from Savannah to Nashville—a 7.5-hour drive or 1.5-hour flight—to help. When he showed up, Saaed took R.J.’s phone and called his new girlfriend, calling her a “dirty bitch,” the FBI alleges in the affidavit. Before she would give it back, the feds say Saaed forced R.J. to make unspecified “recorded admissions.” R.J. then made his way back to Savannah.

The next day, Saaed showed up at R.J.’s door, according to the FBI. He went to the police, who told him to go to court and get a no-contact order against Saaed. R.J. did, and informed his new girlfriend that he was done sending money to Saaed.

After R.J. cut Saaed off financially, she allegedly ramped up the vitriol. The FBI says Saaed created a fake Facebook profile in R.J.’s name and used it to harass his bosses. In October, a website appeared under R.J.’s first and last names, which contained long screeds calling him a rapist and child murderer.

“Abusers who kill the unborn…” said the site, which is still live and includes pages of photos and audio recordings outlining Saaed’s grievances with R.J.. The site also took aim at R.J.’s new girlfriend, who happened to be pregnant with their child.

“Victim R.J. believed he had lost job opportunities due to the negative online presence associated with his name,” the affidavit states, adding that R.J. told the FBI that Saaed had warned, “‘If you don’t send me money, I’m going to fuck your world up,’ and he believed she was making good on her word.”

Amid a bitter custody battle over a dog the couple once shared, Saaed filed for an order of protection against R.J. in Nashville, alleging he had raped her the year before. After she requested the protection order, the “libelous website,” as it is described in the affidavit, was taken down. In response, R.J. filed his own protection order against Saaed. At a January 2021 hearing, Saaed dropped her charges against R.J. On the advice of his attorney, R.J. followed suit.

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The FBI alleges Saaed continued to torment R.J., and his girlfriend finally decided she’d had enough. In March 2021, she reported the situation to the feds, providing agents with threatening texts, emails, and messages Saaed had sent. In one voicemail, Saaed allegedly threatened to confront R.J. in Savannah “in front of everyone in the neighborhood,” before “devolving into a string of obscenities and ending with something to the effect of, ‘Well, unfortunately for you, it’s going to be a very unpleasant place for you to live in.’”

FBI agents interviewed both R.J. and his girlfriend, who turned over their cell phones and a tablet to review. On the devices, investigators say they found “hundreds” of violent threats from Saaed. One text message Saaed allegedly sent R.J. included a photo of a painting of R.J.’s head being blown off with a handgun.

The FBI traced phone calls and IP addresses back to Saaed, according to the affidavit, and in April served subpoenas on numerous service providers to get subscriber information for more than 50 phone numbers, multiple email accounts, and one Facebook profile believed to be associated with her.

“Victim R.J. has expressed the need for ‘the noise to stop,’ the fear for his livelihood, and the fear for the safety and comfort of his girlfriend and child based on Saaed’s actions,” the FBI affidavit concludes. “Victim R.J. has stated the financial and emotional toll of Saaed’s actions has been overwhelming. Written statements believed to be from Saaed such as, ‘I’m going to pay you and your family a visit so get your gun ready,’ or, ‘I’m going to destroy your life and your families,’ affirm these fears.”

R.J. was unable to be reached for comment.

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