Hambini accuses absoluteBLACK of Stalking and defaming him
Hambini is the cycling counterpoint to GCN. He’s the shock jock of two wheels and engineering. He seems only to be out to make friends with his audience rather than the mainstream cycling industry. Unlike GCN, maybe he’s made a few enemies in the process.
Hambini’s YouTube channel has a large following and makes interesting and often entertaining viewing, at least it does if you like that sort of thing. Yet some people definitely do NOT like that sort of thing including some of the companies he takes to task.
One of the companies he has taken to task is absoluteBLACK (AB), makers of oversized pulley wheels (OSPW) and oval chainrings. In reference to the OSPWs, @Hambini says that “the power savings they are claiming do not appear to be valid.” (full video review here)
So what’s all this about Stalking?
I’ve been extremely nice to some companies and have slated others in my work here on this site. None of them send me Christmas hampers in the more favourable cases nor do they stalk me in the less favourable ones. Companies tend to just ignore you as the next product cycle comes around and, in my opinion, that’s probably the best policy for an aggrieved supplier especially if unable to factually dispute the claims someone like me might make.
This brings me to the reason I’m writing about this story. One of the reasons I run this blog pseudo-anonymously is that I do not want stalker-type readers turning up on my doorstep. I never in a million years imagined that a supplier would be accused of such behaviour.
Yet, in a recent video, Hambini made claims and provided evidence and deductions that he believes incriminate absoluteBLACK.
Hambini makes these claims
- A false LinkedIn profile was created about his father.
- A defamatory website (Hambini.cc) was created with a name deliberately matching @Hambini and with false content
- Accusations were made that Hambini knowingly avoided paying EU VAT.
- Then Hambini says this about the stalking,
…the major point and people will find it quite disturbing is someone has camped outside my house and has been watching me and my family. A lot of people will probably find that quite chilling and creepy. And then they followed me to the local shop, they followed me inside, and then watched me buy my lunch, and then finally followed me another 16 miles to my alleged place of work. Now, that is a slam-dunk criminal level of stalking. What is kind of more, I guess, mind-blowingly stupid is they’ve documented it with commentary and photographs. [@Hambini]
Evidence – Is it true?
Stan at absoluteBLACK says, “This is yet another attempt by Hambini to boost his channel’s views by presenting our brand in a bad light, with nothing more than completely false accusations.“
So, Stan from absoluteBLACK is completely denying this and he later continued by adding
As stalking is a very serious accusation, we are forced to take appropriate legal action.
No further comments will be provided for legal reasons.
As evidence, Hambini points out that absoluteBLACK’s lawyers have, in the past, contacted him about comments he made about AB’s products. He claims that 6 forms of wording were used on Hambini.cc (the fake one) that match those made in the lawyer’s letters to Hambini from AB. Hambini states that there is “zero chance” that these two sources are different people. He deduces the defamatory content is from absoluteBLACK and claims to have sent his evidence to the police, presumably along with a formal complaint.
Thoughts – What do you think?
I’ve contacted both parties and included comments and revisions to this article where I think appropriate. I’ve also researched quite a bit of the information on Hambini.cc (the fake one) and followed up with further research some comments that @Hambini made.
The points made on the Hambini.cc (the fake one) website seem amateurish and incorrect in many places. I’ve not seen the documentation that links the wording on the website to letters from absoluteBLACK’s lawyers.
Someone clearly has followed Hambini on one particular day and photographed him doing things in public places. Although unpleasant, I’m unsure that this meets the legal threshold to class as stalking.
Almost certainly the Hambini.cc (the fake one) site libels @Hambini.
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