Friday, August 10, 2007

Charity and Dilbert banned from Phats...

The Phat Cat's lounge group is crackling with the statement that Charity and Dilbert, the rl couple whose long romance has been the foudnation of SL's most powerful and popular romance club have been banned. I will have the details when I get them. But this would be large news indeed. (My previous story on phats is here.)

As background, phatcats is the largest ballroom in sl, its founders met in sl, and were apart because of rl circumstances, and recently met, and decided to move in together and spend their real lives together. They sold phat cats to be able to pursue their real lives.

This is the text of a notice sent out, I am certain without review by the current owners, over the group, which has over 3100 subscribers:

Amanda Barthelmess:

Dilbert Dilweg and Charity Colville, the creators and founders of Phat Cat's have been banned from the sim they once owned and made flourish with their romance. They shared their love with all of us and only sold Phat's so they could bring their SL romance together in their real lives. Brianna Talbot the current manager has banned them from the sim. Phat Cat's is now being run by a management team of that cannot maintain a SL relationship and they have banned true love and romance. This is devistatin

Brianna Talbot and Alix Abruzzo are right now unavailable for comment, and I am looking for Phat Cat's management for their side of the story. Until the details come out, I have to say that it is utterly impossible to make any hasty judgments.

Alix Abruzzo confirms that they have been banned.

Her statement is as follows:

What's on the record is that Dil and Charity were banned from their former sim because they continued to harrass the staff, refused to honor the purchase agreement we made, took property that was to be conveyed during the purchase, and continue to send extremely ugly and threatening notices to both the staff and to the patrons of the establishment.

Alix states that she is trying to keep the dream alive and is trying to sort out what has happened, put past troubles behind everyone and go forward. She says that she paid for the sim in good faith, and that after the money was paid, that problems began. She offered to let Charity and Dilbert buy the sim back several times, but was refused. She said that they promised not to do or say anything to hurt "their baby." Alix emphasizes that she is a true believer in the dream of Phat Cats and was happy to pay for the sim in hopes of carrying on what has become an sl institution.

She states that she has supporting documentation for her position, and that the new managers have files several abuse reports with Linden Laboratories against Charity and Dilbert.

Phat Cat's was sold to Alix for an undisclosed amount earlier this month, though Alix would confirm that the price paid was substantially above the price for a new island.

Update 2:

Charity Colville has a statement in her profile:

I am the co-founder and creator of Phat Cat's along with my wonderful husband Dilbert, however, we are now BANNED FROM PHAT CAT'S. Our love story built a wonderful place that is now being destroyed by silly drama queens that have no respect for romance, true love, and the kind of genuine friendship it takes to make magic. For all of you that have loved Phat's and have been a part of us....we love you all. To our REAL friends....we are SO very grateful and we will always treasure your faith in us.

Dilbert Dilweg has a statement in his profile:

I no Longer own Phat Cats and will no longer step foot on it. i have and so has charity beeen cisrespected and run off and told we are not welcome any more by Brianna Talbot. Sadens me to see this type of power hungry activity We have been banned and terribly upset that somone could do this..

Phat Cats was created by 2 of the most peaceful people of SL and the most loving. Never would i have imagined being treated so unfairly over pesonal anguish ..

Charity disputes Alix' statements, saying that the items removed were freebies that had been given to Charity because of her relationship with the designers:

The only property that was removed from the sim were items that were not included in the sale. Our freebie area consisted of items that were donated to me specifically because of my relationship with various designers in SL. I had full permissions to their items and promised each of them that no one other that me would ever have that same access. I kept my word to each of them and their creations safe. Alix was aware of that before the sale. We were asked a few days ago not to come to Phat's anymore because the new owner wanted it VERY CLEAR that she was the owner and felt the spotlight was not being directed that way.

Charity states that she didn't have the right to sell the items in dispute, namely items in the freebies area which Charity says she had permission to use as freebies, but not permission to transfer to Alix. She states that several of her items are still on the sim, with her as owner. She disputes that the purchase agreement covered conveying these items. According to Charity, parcel return is being used to return items still under the ownership through the SL permissions system to Dilbert right now.

Ballroom Dance 1 (CV)' has been returned to your inventory lost and found folder by Alix Abruzzo from parcel '! PHAT CAT'S ROMANTIC BALLROOM & FORMAL Mall skin shapes voice' at PhatLand 202.821, 81.6341.

Ballroom dance one is a standard dance poseball from Bits and Bobs for couples dancing. Charity states that these are the club version, which is copy/no transfer, and therefore can only be "sold" by being left in place by new owners, or going to Bits and Bobs for a new base copy for the new club owners. The retail version is transfer/no copy.

She further states that she disputes the charges of harassment, that she and Dilbert have no idea why the banning occured, and that she has filed AR's against the current management team.

She further states:

We wish we had never had to sell Phat's. The only reason we did it was because we had to make room for our real life romance. We are so grateful to second life for giving us each other and what is breaking our hearts right now is that the love story we have had here that has been such an inspiration to some is now being dirtied by all of this. We will not comment at this time in regards to legal action and we still wish the new owner nothing but success.

In summary, while some very strong statements have been issued, and some unilateral actions taken, both sides seem to want Phat Cat's to survive and flourish as an institution.

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