Petito’s lawyer sends stop and forbearance to laundry lawyer via Yelp page

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  • An attorney for the Petito family sent a “cease and desist” letter to attorney representing Brian Laundrie.
  • Richard Stafford asked Steven Bertolino not to post pictures of Petito “for the purpose of gaining business”.
  • The letter was sent after a now deleted photo of Gabby Petito appeared on a Yelp page for Bertolino.

Lawyer for Gabby Petito’s family issued a “cease and desist” letter on Wednesday to the lawyer representing the deceased woman’s fiancé, Brian Laundrie, and his parents, demanding that he not publish photos of Petito online “for the purpose of gaining business”.

New York lawyer Richard Stafford, who represents Petito’s family, sent the letter to fellow New York lawyer Steven Bertolino after a photo of Petito appeared on a Yelp page for Bertolino. The image – which appeared to have been uploaded by a Yelp user – was deleted minutes after Stafford sent their letter.

“The Petito and Schmidt family are demanding that you remove Gabby Petito’s photo from your Yelp page,” Stafford wrote in the letter, which added, “The family tried to remove their daughter’s photo from your page and were notified that only the business owner can add or remove images. “

Stafford continued, “Further, the Petito and Schmidt family demand that you stop posting photos of Gabby Petito on all of your social media pages, web pages, or advertisements in an effort to gain business.”

“I’m sure this will be sorted out by 2pm or I will take further action on behalf of Gabby’s family,” Stafford said.

In a text message to Insider, Bertolino called Staffford’s accusations “sad.”

screenshot of Steven Bertolino's Yelp page

How Steven Bertolino’s Yelp page appeared on Wednesday afternoon.

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“I have never used social media or any other electronic platform for advertising other than maintaining a website,” Bertolino said. “I do not control the websites or the hacks and the public that invade the Internet with fake comments and posts.”

Bertolino went on to say that on Tuesday, Yelp “had to close its page for my business due to excessive and unconfirmed posts.”

“I would certainly agree with Mr. Stafford that any such post he refers to should be deleted, but let him know that I have no control over this Yelp site,” he said. .

Bertolino said he was told that Petito’s image was on the Yelp page on Tuesday, “So I looked at it and there was an overlay on the page that said the page was temporarily closed until than [Yelp] could verify the authenticity of the messages. “

Bertolino also said he had “not advertised or looked for business” for over 20 years and “certainly would not use this business to develop business.”

Negative reviews flooded Bertolino’s Yelp page

Meanwhile, Bertolino’s Yelp page has been inundated with negative comments since he took Laundrie – a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance and now death – as a customer.

The FBI confirmed on Tuesday that it was Petito’s body that was discovered Sunday at a remote campsite in a Wyoming national forest after the 22-year-old New York native went missing on a trip across the country with Laundrie.

The Teton County Coroner initially determined her death was homicide, but her cause of death “remains pending final autopsy results.”

Laundrie was named a Person of Interest in Petito’s disappearance on September 15 after returning home in North Port, Florida, where he lived with his fiancee and parents, in the van the couple were traveling in and without her. September 1.

His family reported him missing on September 17 and authorities continue to search for him in the Carlton Reservation in Florida.


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