Professor Sues TikToker Who Accused Her of Involvement in Murders of Students

University of Idaho professor Rebecca Scofield filed a defamation lawsuit against TikTok star Ashley Guillard, who alleged she was involved in the killings of four students.

By Corinne Heller Dec 28, 2022 11:38 PMTags
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TikToker Ashley Guillard is facing legal action after publicly accusing a University of Idaho professor of being involved in the highly-publicized murders of four students.

On Nov. 24, Guillard began sharing her theories about what happened to slain roommates Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, and Xana Kernodle, as well as Kernodle's boyfriend, Ethan Chapin—pointing the finger at history department chair Rebecca Scofield. (For a full breakdown on the case, click here.) The professor has denied any wrongdoing and police have cleared her of any involvement in the killings. 

Her lawsuit, filed Dec. 21, says that Guillard posted many TikTok videos "falsely stating" that Scofield "participated in the murders because she was romantically involved with one of the victims." In her filing, Scofield states, "Guillard's statements are false. Professor Scofield did not participate in the murders, and she had never met any of the victims, let alone entered a romantic relationship with them."

The lawsuit also states that Scofield "was not in Moscow, Idaho, when the murders occurred. She and her husband were in Portland, Oregon, visiting friends." In addition, the filing says, "Professor Scofield has never met Guillard. She does not know her."

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In a Dec. 28 statement to E! News, Scofield's attorney, Wendy Olson, said, "The statements made about Professor Scofield are false, plain and simple. What's even worse is that these untrue statements create safety issues for the Professor and her family. They also further compound the trauma that the families of the victims are experiencing and undermine law enforcement efforts to find the people responsible in order to provide answers to the families and the public."

Scofield's attorney continued, "Professor Scofield twice sent cease and desist letters to Ms. Guillard, but Ms. Guillard has continued to make false statements, knowing they are false. Thus, this lawsuit became necessary to protect Professor Scofield's safety and her reputation."

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Guillard, a Texas-based Tarot card reader who runs a TikTok channel called Ashley Solves Mysteries, told E! News in response to the filing that Scofield is "using her resources in her attempt to silence me. This time it won't work! The lawsuit has provided me with an opportunity to 'be even louder.' Justice for Ethan, Kaylee & Madison and Xana. In that specific order."

On Dec. 27, six days after Scofield filed her lawsuit, Moscow police said in a statement to NBC News, "At this time in the investigation, detectives do not believe the female associate professor and chair of the history department at the University of Idaho suing a TikTok user for defamation is involved in this crime."

Guillard is undeterred, telling NBC News that the police's statement "makes it clear to me that I am needed to help solve this case." She added, "The lawsuit is essential because it gives me a legal basis to subpoena empirical evidence."

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