Meet NYC Woman Who's Fighting To Unmask Anonymous Online Man Ruining Her Life

Photo: Sotheby's
Keila Landim De Souza

Selling real estate is a competitive business and real estate agents need to work hard to manage their reputations in order to get new clients. That becomes hard to do when every Google search about you shows your name on a list of websites like "She's A Home Wrecker" and "Liars and Cheaters."

In 2019, that was the situation one woman was facing.

Who is Keila Landim De Souza?

It all started after a man started a systematic campaign to ruin her life in 2016. 

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She says she met Ginu Shaji in a bar and declined his request for a date. Since then, he had been stalking her, doxxing her, and ruining her reputation online. She wanted him to stop and to make him do so, she sued a domain management service for user information.

Who is Keila Landim De Souza? Read on for the shocking details. 

1. She is a New York real estate professional.

According to De Souza's now-deleted official bio at her real estate firm at the time, she is a native of Brazil who practiced law before deciding to get into the world of real estate.

"When she moved to New York City several years ago, she decided to realize her dream of guiding people through the process of buying and selling a home. She has been an avid student of real estate for many years and has helped many through this often complicated process," her bio said.

Her bio went on to talk about De Souza's commitment to the kind of service high-end real estate customers have come to expect.

"She is known for exceeding clients' expectations having perfected the concept of concierge service," they noted. The bio emphasized that De Souza traveled extensively, and speaks fluent Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish, making her an ideal realtor for international clients.

2. She has a Google profile of horrors.

If you searched De Souza's name online, that Sotheby's listing was the last positive information you could find about her. The rest of the first page that came up was a laundry list of terrible posts on sites with names like "She's a Homewrecker" and "WTF Cheater." 

If you clicked on the links to these posts, you found stories about De Souza sleeping with married men and lying about her age.

One post, which appears on several sites, says, "Keila Landim De Souza destroyed my married life of 28 years. Me and my husband were living happily for 28 years until Keila ruined everything. My husband met her at a restaurant in NY and they started seeing each other and one time she recorded a sex video of her and my husband and blackmailed him for money and he refused and she then sends me the video. She is a criminal and a homewrecker. Everyone, please be careful of her!" 

De Souza appears on sites like this.

3. De Souza tried clearing her name online.

De Souza said the posts were untrue and she was trying to get them removed. In order to do so, she had to know who was posting them, and the only way to get that information was through a lawsuit.

In October 2019, De Souza sued the Arizona-based company Domains By Proxy, LLC to compel them to release the user information behind the defamatory posts. Once she had that information, she could sue the person responsible for defamation. 

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4. Ginu Shaji is a man scorned.

De Souza believed that the source of these online smears about her were from a man named Ginu Shaji. She alleged that she met him in a bar in 2016 and turned down his advances because she was involved with someone else.

Rather than taking no for an answer, Shaji began stalking De Souza on social media, contacting her friends and family, and started spreading lies about her.

In a legal affidavit, she claimed, "On one occasion, Mr. Shaji threatened to ‘destroy’ me.” After that incident, she obtained a restraining order against him.  

5. He started an online smear campaign.

After she got the restraining order that prevented Shaji from contacting her directly, someone told De Souza that her name and photo were appearing on websites created to doxx cheaters. De Souza was certain that she knew the sources of the false posts. 

“Upon information and belief, it was Mr. Shaji that posted defamatory information about me on the aforementioned websites,” the court papers alleged. De Souza hoped to confirm that Shaji was behind the online lies about her; as of 2019, she planned to sue him for defamation. 

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Her lawyers said these posts were harming De Souza professionally because they appeared in any search for her name. Even researching this article was difficult because a basic Google search for De Souza primarily turned up the negative posts.  

6. But there is a possible legal precedent.

This isn't the first time someone has sued over defamatory posts on this type of website.

An Alabama realtor successfully sued a woman who was posting lies about her on the same kind of sites.

In 2015, Monika Glennon found posts about her on several sites claiming that she was having an affair with an anonymous poster's husband. The poster turned out to be a local woman named Mollie Rosenblum who took offense to comments Glennon had made about a news story. 

Rosenblum created a fake profile and began posting lies about Glennon on cheating websites and on websites like "Bad Biz" intended to warn potential customers away from service providers.

On July 3, 2019, U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala found that Glennon was the victim of libel, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, which interfered with her business. Part of the ruling required that the sites remove the offending posts. 

As of December 2020, there is still no word yet on when De Souza's case will go to court. Domains By Proxy, LLC has not issued a comment about the suit.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in October 2019 and was updated with the latest information.

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen in Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.