John Fitzgerald Page is proud of his accomplishments. In fact, he's a walking résumé.
He's a financial consultant who models and acts on the side. According to his website, JohnFitzgeraldPage.com, he's had small parts in more than 20 movies, TV shows and commercials. His credits include playing "Dr. Frank Doyle" in Diary of a Mad Black Woman to being the "waterpark frolicker" in a Holiday Inn ad.
Page is extremely image-conscious, which is why the events of the last month have vexed him so. A spurned woman named Jen used the blogosphere to turn his pride against him – in a big way. Call it cyber-jujitsu.
Here's what happened.
Jen "winked" at Page's profile last month on the online dating service Match.com. The wink consisted of an electronic notice to Page telling him she was interested in corresponding further.
Page responded by trying to impress her with a list of accomplishments. "They're looking for a six-foot guy who makes a hundred grand a year," he explains.
Page didn't send a W-2, but he did tout his snazzy home (in a Buckhead high-rise), his snazzy education (Ivy League), his snazzy physique ("I work out 4 times a week at LA Fitness"), and his snazzy job ("mergers & acquisitions" for a Fortune 500 retailer).
He also asked her to send him photos showing more of her body. "The problem was [her profile] has six pictures of her head," he says. "If you Internet date, you realize that means she's trying to hide something."
Jen apparently was put off by Page's letter. She sent him a canned response that said they weren't a "personality match."
But instead of moving on, Page made a colossal blunder. He sent her an angry, defensive, sarcastic letter relisting his vital stats – stats that he thinks make her a fool for spurning him:
"8.9 on Hot or Not, Ivy League grad, Mensa member, can bench/squat/leg press over 1200 lbs., has had lunch with the secretary of defense, has an MBA from the top school in the country, lives in a Buckhead high-rise, drives a Beemer convertible, has been in 14 major motion pictures, was in Jezebel's Best dressed, etc."
Jen forwarded Page's e-mail to the popular media blog Gawker.com. In posts viewed by hundreds of thousands of people, Gawker published Page's letter and picture, along with mocking links to his website. Gawker dubbed Page a "nightmare online dater," a "douche bag" and the "worst person in the world." Google the phrase "Atlanta douche bag" and you'll now find John Fitzgerald Page.
He even got death threats. "I didn't threaten her," he says. "I didn't harass her. I just sent her an e-mail saying basically 'I have these statistics and you can't hang.' They're threatening my life because I blew off a fat chick on the Internet."
He says his reputation is ruined, and there's nothing he can do about it. It's one person versus hundreds of thousands of people on the Internet. "I'm now tainted goods," he says. "Even my friends are doubting me." Page tries to make the best of a bad situation with humor. "Douche bag? I think of myself as more of a prick," he deadpanned during our photo shoot – which, per his suggestion, depicted scenes spoofing his online braggadocio.
But he's clearly reeling. During our conversations, he asked repeatedly, "Do I seem like the worst person in the world?"