A University of Idaho professor sued a TikTok poster for defamation after she published videos accusing the professor of killing four students in an off-campus home last month.
Ashley Guillard, a self-styled internet sleuth with roughly 108,000 TikTok followers, has posted dozens of videos in which she accuses Rebecca Scofield, the chair of the school’s history department, of orchestrating the four students’ killings. She says she based the accusation on tarot card readings.
Authorities have not named a suspect in the case, which has gained national attention, but they suggested the students were stabbed to death, likely while they slept in their beds. There is no known evidence connecting Scofield to the killings.
In a complaint filed in Idaho’s federal district court on Wednesday, Scofield said Guillard’s TikTok videos were false and that she did not comply with two cease-and-desist letters demanding Guillard take down the videos and issue an apology.
Scofield is seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages and has requested a jury trial.
“Guillard’s false TikToks have damaged Professor Scofield’s reputation,” the complaint reads. “They have caused her significant emotional distress. She fears for her life and for the lives of her family members. She has incurred costs, including costs to install a security system and security cameras at her residence. She fears that Guillard’s false statements may motivate someone to cause harm to her or her family members.”
Scofield in the suit also said she was in Portland, Ore., with her husband during the time of the killings and checked out of a hotel in the city hours after the killings occurred.
“Professor Scofield did not commit or in any way participate in the murders of the four students,” the complaint states.
Guillard acknowledged the lawsuit in a series of TikTok videos over the past week, although she said in one that she had not yet been served with the complaint.
“I’m not stopping, so let’s just start there,” Guillard said in one of the videos.
In a later post, Guillard said she was “gleaming with excitement” that she would have to opportunity to “present my ideas in court” about the killings.
“The lawsuit Rebecca Scofield & her team of attorneys filed against me are false, frivolous and perjurious,” Guillard told The Hill on Monday evening. “I look forward to presenting the evidence I gathered in court.”
Updated Tuesday at 9:50 a.m.