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Defendant in kennel owner's defamation suit denies wrongdoing

By Joe Beck

The defendant targeted by Frederick County kennel owner Russell L. Ebersole in the newest of two defamation suits is denying many of the accusations, according to online records from the U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg.

The defendant, Sharlin Oren of Berryville, also admitted to several of the allegations contained in Ebersole's complaint, but argued that they were not "relevant or material to this lawsuit." The reply filed by attorney Steven W. Bancroft of Fairfax stated that Oren lacked sufficient information to either admit or deny other accusations made by Ebersole.

The reply "denies that she committed defamation intentionally, or negligently and demands strict proof of all elements of injury, liability and damages."

Ebersole's suit contends that online statements allegedly made by Oren and Bridget Kline-Perry, a defendant in an earlier defamation suit filed by Ebersole, caused him "damage to reputation and standing in the community, embarrassment, humiliation and mental suffering."

Ebersole won $30,000 from Kline-Perry in the earlier suit and is seeking $3.7 million from Oren, whom he describes as a friend and associate of Kline-Perry.

Oren admitted in her reply to the suit that she is a friend of Kline-Perry, but rejected many of the suit's other allegations.

For example, she denied that her actions caused "special and general damages" cited by Ebersole in his complaint.

She also denied Ebersole's accusation that what he described as "factually false allegations" and "malicious opinions" she posted on Facebook led some people to stop doing business with Ebersole and his kennel, Aberdeen Acres Pet Care Center in Stephenson.

"The defendant denies that she is liable to the plaintiff in any amount or under any theory of law," Oren stated in her reply. She added that she will rely on "truth and substantial truth" among several other defenses she listed in seeking to have Ebersole's suit dismissed.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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