San Diego woman plans to sue Starbucks server, demands half share of $100,000 as she was slandered for 'tips'
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: A woman who shamed a Starbucks worker online after he refused to serve her, wants a share of his over $100,000 “tips”. A GoFundMe page was created for Lenin Gutierrez after he refused to serve Amber Lynn Gilles because she was not wearing a face mask amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The fundraising page has received $104,885 in donations since.
However, Gilles has claimed that she wants at least half of all the donations from the online campaign “because they’re using me to get the tips”. She added: “They’re using my name, they’re using my face and they’re slandering me.” The woman, a yoga instructor, and photographer, also said that she will sue Matt Cowan, from Irvine, for defamation and slander as he was the one who launched the GoFundMe campaign for Gutierrez, as reported by The New York Times.
Gilles went to her local San Diego Starbucks on June 22. However, she was not served by Gutierrez as she was not wearing a mask. The self-proclaimed anti-vaxxer said that wearing a mask is a government’s conspiracy to control the population. Gilles then posted a photo of Gutierrez with a message in an attempt to shame the worker. “Meet Lenen (sic) from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I’m not wearing a mask. Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption.” she wrote.
However, her now-deleted post backfired and more people came out in support of the barista and criticized Gilles. “You are a privileged mess. It’s almost satire how incredibly aloof you seem,” one user wrote. “Imagine photographing someone who makes minimum wage because you won’t comply with the rules a private business and the state of California set up. Call the cops all you want, but there’s literally nothing they can do for you, Karen. Also, this is creepy as hell. Get a grip,” added another one.
Meanwhile, reports claimed that Gutierrez will likely receive the amount from the fundraiser sometime next week. He said that he plans to use a fraction of the money to get a degree in kinesiology, the study of movement, while the rest amount he will donate some to charity. “Everything I wanted to do seemed very far away, but with all that's going on, it seems more within my reach. Everyone showed my kindness, so now I want to show it back,” he said.
According to California Governor Gavin Newsom's mandate, people are required to wear face masks to combat the further spread of the coronavirus. However, people can be exempted from the rule if they provide a medical reason for it.
Last week, Gilles reportedly went online to defend her actions and blasted people who criticized her. “I am not scared or bothered by your ignorant fraud a**'s, not so sorry you losers got nothing better to do. Thanks for the ratings you all act like the terrorist organization you are,” she wrote, The Daily Mail reported.
While on June 24, Gutierrez shared a video on his Facebook page thanking those who supported the campaign and also shared his side of the story on the interaction with Gilles. “Before I could say anything she flipped me off and said I don’t need one and she started cursing up a storm. She started calling people sheep and she left and within a few minutes came back and she asked for my name and took a photo.”
Starbucks also released a statement while supporting face masks. “We want everyone to feel welcome in our stores. We respectfully request customers to follow social distancing and safety protocols recommended by public health officials, including wearing a facial covering when visiting our stores,” the coffeehouse company said.