Submitted by admin on Tue, 04/20/2021 - 09:11

Gearwarz Summary

When I discovered a petition that urged to adopt a less offensive name, I knew it was time to step up and shed light on the site's true origins. Too often the contributions of women are debased and undervalued. In this spirit, I think it's important that my story is told.

My name is Meg Lee Chin. I built and created Gearslutz (now called Gearspace) with Julian Standen in 2002. The site began as a hobby which grew into a business. He was the head moderator. I worked behind the scenes as the main technical operator. 

Jules chose the "boys in the locker room" style name. Little did I know, it would one day become an apt metaphor. 

Over the next five years, I poured my heart and soul into Gearslutz. I was tied to the servers and their operations. Unable to tour or make any other commitments, I even had to put my career as an established recording and performing artist on hold, as I clocked in up to 80-hour weeks.

In February 2007, I awoke to a shocking revelation: my longtime friend Julian Standen had without warning secretly replaced me. I found myself locked out of our three servers and all associated online and financial accounts. My replacement, oblivious to his role as accomplice, and unfamiliar with the system I created caused Gearslutz to go offline for nearly a week. Standen exploited the site's outage and used it as an excuse for his theft. 

Standen fabricated a phoney story for our friends, colleagues, acquaintances and Gearslutz members. He claimed he had "no choice" but to "relieve" me of my responsibilities after an argument which led to my attempt to destroy the site. This was a blatant lie which he concocted to play upon the cliche of me as a stereotypically irrational, hormonally driven woman. 

But it is crazy to suggest that I would intentionally harm the site to which I dedicated my heart and soul and sacrificed my cherished music career for. Standen nearly brought about the site's downfall by hiring an unwitting stooge unfamiliar with the meticulous operations I had established.

In other words. Standen nearly destroyed our business so he could steal it from me... and then blamed me.

However it is clear from the court documents that not only was his accusation a lie, but the theft had been planned long before any argument. In his defence statement to the High Court of Justice in England, he conspicuously omitted any reference to the site's prolonged downtime or his slanderous accusation that I was to blame. Here, his silence on these specifics speaks volumes. Indeed had he dared to present this lie in a court declaration, it would have constituted perjury.

His heartlessness and greed thrust me into a Davey vs. Goliath-style battle. For the next three years, I was savagely swept into a heightened and relentless state of continual panic as I fought off his money, leverage and powerful family connections.

The experience left me with clinically diagnosed PTSD. I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. 

On the 18th of June 2010 in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, I  won my claim against Julian Standen. After a 3 year long Davey vs Goliath-style battle where I fought mostly on my own against some of the toughest lawyers in one of the top three most powerful law firms in the world, Judge Master Justice Briggs ruled in my favour in Claim# HC07C03181. My compensation was agreed out of court. 

Unfortunately, I was pressured by my lawyer into a one-off settlement instead of the ongoing security for my future which I had worked so hard for.  When divided by 8 years spent on building the site and then the lawsuit, it amounted to less than the minimum wage.  

The settlement was made in 3 payments within a Tomlin Order on July 17, 2010January 5, 2011, and  July 5, 2011

The UK system does not allow much in the way of damages or distress caused. Ownership is 9/10s of the law. There is an emphasis on compromise even if you are the party wronged. Hence seizing your partner's share can be an effective tool for negotiation. In effect, it puts the wronged party at an extreme disadvantage as the wrongful party holds all the cards. It's an elitist system that favors the more powerful and it's the attitude at the heart of the British class system.

Today Standen enjoys a good six-figure plus salary and a relaxed retirement for the site we created together. By contrast, I have had to struggle and live without the pension he stole. 

This is how the system works and this is my story.

Margaret Li Chin O'Leary aka Meg Lee Chin