After a dispute, an Australian wedding photographer called his client "the ugliest bride I have ever photographed."
This story started off weird. But in the time we've been watching it, it's totally gone off the rails. Lee Maxwell Judd is a wedding photographer based in New South Wales, Australia. In February, he was hired by Ashlea and Daniel Howard. Months later, Ashlea complained to him about how he was delivering the photos, which is when he posted this picture from their wedding on his professional Facebook page, along with the caption:
“Ugliest bride I have ever photographed. Winged (sic) the whole time. Bridezilla #1."
"Winged" is presumably supposed to say "whinged," which is Commonwealth slang for complaining. I'll use it in a sentence to explain: "If you call a bride who hired you 'ugly' on Facebook, thousands of strangers will furiously whinge at you." Lee Maxwell Judd had no idea what he was in for.
Ashlea Howard told The Independent that she was "mortified" when she saw the post, and at first, it seems like Judd regretted his words. He posted this message: "Apologies to all concerned. My FB page was compromised by a computer hack yesterday evening." But when people started commenting on his page to criticize him, he went on the defensive. He fired back in torrents of angry comments, calling out his "haters" and telling one to "get back in your trailer." He added that all the people vilifying him lead "boring, hopeless and meaningless lives."
Then Ashlea Howard stepped in again. Feeling remorse over the social media backlash against Judd, she sent him a private message, which he posted to his page.
Thanks Ash. I appreciate your apology and no hard feelings. I forgive you.
Posted by Lee Maxwell Judd Photography on Thursday, May 7, 2015
Somehow, the way he accepted that apology made it worse. Judd continued to receive angry comments on that post. As of press time, his most recent response was this:
You poor miserable unhappy people. So sad for you all. It must be so tormenting going through life with such jealously and hatred towards others. I hope you all realise that a grudge only torments the grudger and has no effect at all on the grudgee. I will pray for you all to be healed of your pain suffering (sic).
It definitely seems like Lee Maxwell Judd has done the least classy thing he could at every turn in this story, but let's also honor Ashlea Howard's wishes and not pile on top of him. Remember that she's the victim here. And also, for all his personality problems, Judd isn't wrong about holding a grudge. It'll tear you up inside until you're calling people ugly for no reason. And then you'll be the dick.
It turns out I was duped. The message from Ashlea Howard that Judd posted was a lie. She actually wrote it on the page of a different wedding photographer named Lee Maxwell, who was being mistakenly targeted by online trolls. Judd found it and took a screenshot for his own page, pretending it was for him. Here's a screenshot from the same thread, taken by another Facebook user:
This Lee Maxwell's not even Australian. (via Mandy Ferguson)
I'm not sure whether he thought he would fool anybody (besides me) or if it was just a snide joke. Either way, I underestimated what a tool this guy is.