Disa Johnson Takes Legal Action

by Jeremy Schoemaker on February 17, 2009 · 96 comments

So I got a puzzling cease and desist letter from someone claiming to represent Disa Johnson. Disa is demanding removal of images and paragraphs from this post.

First of all apologies to Heather Lloyd Martin for spelling her name wrong.

2nd of all it in the letter it says that Heather and Detlev were never married. I actually confirmed with 3 different SEO sources that they were married before posting and they all said they were. So apologies for saying they were married (if they were not).

Thirdly I just want to generally apologize to Detlev and Heather if I hurt them in any way. That was not my intent. After reading Danny Sullivan’s funny post about Detlev 301′ing himself to a female and then holding a public Q&A about it at SMX West I assumed he was proud and out in the open.

I am always puzzled when someone I think I know hides behind their lawyer to send me a message. Like seriously Detlev – dude you cant just call me or shoot me a email?

Anyway…. I am complying and taking off the pictures.

I know this probably is coming off as a shock to most people that I am not coming out guns blazing at a legal threat but I really like both Heather and Detlev and wish them the best in their adventures.

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2895 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.

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1 Atlanta

Someone’s email just got posted online. Wow
That is an odd letter. Interesting to see a lawyer trying to make light of it too.

2 Atniz

Lawyers are just waiting for the opportunity to make some money. I think Shoe need to show them that they can make money from blogging too.

3 Best Deals Online

Haha, he should.
Show them how to make some genuine money from the net

4 Rahul Jadhav

@Atniz lol that was funny. On a serious note i agree that there are some frivolous cases being filed nowadays

5 Kendall

Agreed- the letter is pretty hilarious. You should definitely try to replace the photos with some from Disa herself!

6 ZK@Internet Marketing Blog

Well everyone is waiting for the opportunity so that they can make some money and lawyer is no different from them.

After all they have also stomach … lollzz

7 Doug from Nullvariable Web Consulting

you should always try to reach someone through a short personal email before resorting to a lawyer. You’ll usually save a lot of money as most people will respect you coming to them and address your issues. Coming first with a lawyer closes up all the options for dealing with things nicely.

8 Atniz

The problem is he did not email or contacted before using a lawyer. I think the problem is settled now as the post and images got removed.

9 ZK@Internet Marketing Blog

May be he/she just want to have the popularity of few days only … and now her male version’s images are not there.

10 Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

As well as other parts of her male version are gone as well. lol

11 Stuart Thompson

Well handled. Makes sense to me. The cease and desist seemed a little harsh on you not having the facts but did play it down as not a legal matter.

Perhaps getting the last out of a good PR opportunity? “oh oh, the post is going cold, quick stir it up a little” :)

12 Taris Janitens

You’d think that if they know you they would contact you – Thats certainly what I would do anyways!!

13 Make Money Online Tips

First this guy does something like that and then he wants to sue for talking about it. He should be sued for being such a poor example of a SEO guru :@

14 xs650 chopper

or maybe he is a genius SEO guru and is using the opportunity to link bait? genius.. maybe there was really no sex change at all.

15 StarMars

A legal notice for the photos? I thought she was insulted or something. Ye, would have been better to contact Jeremy directly and not through an attorney. Anyway, all good now.

..still funny though… xD

16 Atniz

I have commented on the blog post as well. It is funny too.

17 xs650 chopper

yet it seems to be a lot cheaper just to send e-mail!!

18 Classifieds

yea I agree it must have cost tons to get the lawyer to write that email

19 Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

yeah it would be cheaper to just use a lawyer, unless he has no balls to email shoe himself… wait a sec she doesn’t have any balls now lol

20 David
21 Christian

I had no idea the “gender reassigned” were so touchy about their sexual status. I think you did the right thing as well. No need blow it into a huge deal. You’re right though…the guy/gal could have just called you and asked I guess.

22 Atniz

I think it is a big deal for some people.

23 griffin

You should have been the person contacting Disa for fact checking. Common courtesy is all. //g

24 Jeremy Schoemaker

I agree. I should have.

25 Graeme Mac

Yes, out of he 3 seo’s you checked with Disa & Heather should have been 2 of them – especially if you consider them to be friends.

26 Simon

LOL! When it comes to sex changes and weird sh*t you’re just treading a tight rope… :)

27 Tushar

Well, if you don’t want people to know about your actions then keep a low profile. Otherwise, you’re never going to get everyone quiet, no matter how many cease and desist letters you send.

28 Atniz

Low profile is not possible in shoe’s blog. I’m sure this can be a hot news in newspapers too.

29 Nicholas Chase


Good call! Just Drop It… Who knows how perceptions can be when it is a personal issue like this one.

Better to stay on the high road, especially for people you respect!

Nicholas Chase

30 Kuuzak


Man, that is one trustworthy looking website. It has state of the art animated gifs and everything.

31 Luke

lol…agreed…when was the last update on that beast? :P

32 loans

Odd request, I agree. But after reading some of the other comments on the post, I wouldn’t blame her. I hope my comments didn’t offend.

33 Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

That is probably the real reason for the letter, every one was bashing her and not even talking about anything else on that certain post. What did she expect would happen.

34 Ruben Ricart

so very confused right now..lol – what did you do wrong? If you got out in public and folks take images of you and your somewhat of a public figure, doesn’t that grant who ever wishes to speak their right to freedom of speech as long as your not defaming them or hurting their business?..

However I like the way you handled it Jeremy and hopefully this Lawyer move by folks you consider friends wont Tarnish the relationship that you guys built….best wishes to all involved.

35 Kristi

You are calling her Detlev in the post above… her name is Disa now.

It would have been nice to get an email or call rather than an actual C&D letter though.

36 Tushar

She would have been Detlev at the time of the supposed marriage.

37 Atniz

I think Disa/Detlev becomes more famous now than before.

38 2009 Taxes

I didn’t really care until you wrote this post and they sent you the letter. Now I have to see the before and after photos.



39 Tushar

Funny how they say she owns the pictures, even though Facebook’s new TOS says that Facebook owns that one.

40 Luke

Good point :P

41 Atniz

yeah.. is she going to issue one letter to facebook too?

42 loans

the Facebook bait and switch TOS is a whole other issue. Something that will negatively impact them for a very long time.

43 2008 taxes

Google cache is a cool thing if you want to see freaky pictures after a cease and desist letter.

44 ways to make money online

Someone you thought you knew…hahah must not of known him too well if he couldn’t get a hold of you some how.

45 Dan

Don’t you just love lawyers? Someone should of called you first, that seems a little extreme. Also, could of saved her a couple thousand for the cost of lawyers time writing the C&D letter.

46 Aman@BullsBattleBears

haha…wow..atleast you took the moral high road as others I know would probably just get into a lame flame war…its sad liars..err…lawyers need to be involved but I guess that is the sad reality of today’s world

47 Patrick

Wah! Wah!

Seriously, Detlef? Like Jeremy said, don’t hide behind your damn lawyer.

48 Tushar

Don’t you mean Disa?

49 Patrick

uhhh…. no. Just because you dress like a woman doesn’t make your a women. I personally find sex changes disgusting. It isn’t meant to be in this world.

50 Jeremy

I agree with Shoe – Detlev is hiding behind his lawyer, just silly. I think you covered the post with dignity and didn’t “out” anyone – just reported the facts.

Sorry this happened – ughhh, I hate people who hide.


51 Atniz

Relax. At least the issue is settled for now here. Don’t know how many blogs have posted about her after reading her post here. Is she going to issue lawyer notice to everyone? I think the lawyer need to take some SEO services to find the blog posts.

52 Ronny

shoe knew him, but “him” is now nonexistent, it is now her.

So shoe does not know her!

53 Raja Kamil

Well, at least they speak up the truth. Not like some of people who never tell or shout the truth,but expecting people to know it.

54 Atniz

Wow.. up to legal notice for a single post? I think he should at least contact you before doing that.

55 Kenney Works From Home

You would think so eh? Oh well.

56 Brandon Walker

A simple email to you would of done the trick lol.

57 Kenney Works From Home

Dang…sorry bout the trouble though.

58 Ari Lestariono

Mistake happens, and by correcting action plan to be made, I think that’s appropriate.

59 ZK@Internet Marketing Blog

Well we have talked about her and her past balls and all. Seems to me that she/he does not like that stuff and finally YOU HAVE GOT A MAIL … lollz

60 China Travel Blog

I understand why he(or she) did not able to come to the front, he has has no balls to do that.

61 Raja Kamil

you really got the gut to say that :)

62 Web Site Promotions

You did the right thing by removing the content. I aggree. A simple phone call could have had the same effect.

63 Pheak Tol

Should’ve just shot you an email or come here and comment, the whole lawyer ordeal should be as a means of a last resort.

64 sean

For additional updates and video, please visit TMZ.com

65 MouthyGirl

I was somewhat anxious to get home and reread this post and the letters because I can’t open attachments on my phone. I’m a legal assistant and honestly, though puzzling, sometimes people view this approach as the most professional way to handle a matter.

I say this because sometimes people don’t know how to bring up a subject with a friend, or don’t quite know how to broach the subject at all so they defer to someone else. In this case, who better than a detached third party – a lawyer.

My firm handles things like this a lot. Most recently a client had gone into business with two best friends but felt the business was coming off the tracks as the two friends started spending money on the business accounts that alarmed our client.

We handled the paperwork with the state, etc for the withdrawal of this person in the business entity and from all accounts, the people have remained friends.

Just for your consideration.

66 joe gelb

Just please do not send them troubles my way.

67 Bonochromatic

Sorry, Shoebox, I think you’re in the wrong here on this one. Are you not quite clear on the whole “Intellectual Property” thing? Or the whole, “fact-checking” thing? Or is it the whole, “not being a douchebag” part that’s so sticky?

And remind us all why again she should have sent you an email when you didn’t pay her the same courtesy? Smells like a double-standard.

68 jaysend

very interestig and good reply/info mouthygirl

69 Giancarlo Massaro, AnyLuckyDay.com

Ridiculous. A simple “please remove this” would have ended all this instead of going through a lawyer.

70 condos

wow i read the post and it looked like he was out?
I hate having to deal with attourneys and all of the BS that goes along with them and law suits.

I dont blame you in this situation I would just take down the content.

71 Cheap iPods. Cheap Cell Phones.

Very gracious Shoe, I like your response.

72 Your Name

Sue this bald headed man boob con man who is a legend in his pathetic own mindoff the internet once and for all!

73 Ari Lestariono

No kidding stuff….

74 jesse grant

I can not believe how stupid your readers are jeremy , they simply just comment facts you state back, ” why didn’t he just email etc” , use your brain people , this detlev guy is just looking for attention , this is why he probably had a sex change and this is why he hit shoe with a cease and desist order, the guy is smart enough to realize jeremy gave him a ton of attention and what way to get even more attention then to hit shoe with the order. This guy deserves no attention and your readers on this post are all link sluts :P , not too mention this post itself was link bait probably , but shoe is deserving of doing this kinda stuff. Detlev if you didn;t want this brought to everyones attention why show up at confrences why not just stay at home. I would sum it all up to Attention deficit disorder !

75 contentpig

i had no idea about this person and thier sex change, it was interesting reading it here at shoemoney and now I see that he/she is a dick so I’m not interested anymore

76 Rick

What’s done is done. There is always something to learn and I think you did the stand-up thing once you realized the error.

The measure of a person or a business is not if mistakes happen – but what action you take when the mistake is discovered.

77 Classifieds

I also don’t get why she did not come to you straigt up and had to hide behind a lawyer. But im glad that you took the pictures down and its cool to see that you respect them so much.

78 Ari Lestariono

Popularity in gains of market though for few days it’s surely hits the page 1 of this blog…lol

79 Dennis

wow, I never thought it would make it a big deal. Atleast someone got some exposure through the blog posting

80 Ken

People just like to come strong nowadays.

81 bracelet

Ahhhhh……times, they are a’changing.

82 Downloadic

Google cache is a cool thing if you want to see freaky pictures after a cease and desist letter.

83 Tyrone

 Well everybody wants to make money and so the lawyers. Well if you have hurt them then you should definitely remove the images.

84 L2 Lumpy

He/she needs to grow some balls and make the call – make it all nice.


85 Twittrblog

It’s amazing, bad news travels faster, so if they really think, now is a time for “disa” to act and capitalize on the “free exposure”

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