Okay, so, a couple months ago I started working with a man who needed help with his website. He had a very low budget, but seemed kind of desperate and was an older man who was basically banking on his business making it big and i sorta felt for him so I agreed to help him with some web tasks and marketing items for $100 a month. This is waaaay below anything I would normally charge, by the way. I am a young woman (23) and he specified he was looking for a student to do the work so I should have seen the red flags.
Two months later and only $100 payment received, this guy was texting me every day, trying to get me to go to these weekly meetings that were outside of our agreement, never giving me enough notice, started showing a bit of a short temper, and overall just making me uncomfortable and being way too demanding.
Now, it is February and I had not received February payment, it was a couple days late. I tried to speak to him about how the scope of the project had changed and that this was becoming too much for me. He kept badgering and twisting things around as he usually does and eventually I told him very politely that I could not continue working on the project, but would carry out the work in the next few weeks and help with his transition. He thanked me and said that was fine.
Next thing you know he tells me he will not be paying me for February since now he has to look for someone else. So I tell him that I will not work without payment. He tells me he will consider paying me when the work is done, and continues to send me messages and emails (one was an approx 4000 word email about how he was a visionary and I was not seeing the value in the work). I respond and tell him that I will not do unpaid work, and ask that he respect my decision not to continue and stop sending me long messages.
Now he's sending me legal threats. It started with him wanting me to continue the work with no confirmation of payment and now he's saying my only option is to financially compensate him and pay for someone to carry out his tasks at market rate. I know this is ridiculous and he is just trying to take advantage of me but it is stressful and kind of creepy. In one of his emails he says "this will be a very expensive lesson for you".
Should I do anything? I'm never doing discounted work again, especially for someone I barely know. This guy is totally erratic and bordering on harassment. Does he really have any legal standing? He's basically saying that because I quit before his site was completely finished he can sue me for damages.