Some time ago, negative reviews written by someone named "Historian" began appearing on Amazon listings for books written by rivals of Russian historian Orlando Figes. Those same negative reviews pointed to books by Figes as being superior. Last week, Figes's wife, Stephanie Palmer, admitted to writing the negative reviews.

Now Figes has admitted that it was he, and not his wife, who wrote the negative reviews.

"I am ashamed of my behavior, and don't entirely understand why I acted as I did," he said. "It was stupid — some of the reviews I now see were small-minded and ungenerous but they were not intended to harm. This crisis has exposed some health problems, though I offer that more as explanation than excuse. I need some time now to reflect on what I have done and the consequences of my actions with medical help."

Macleans suggests that this might be a good time to institute libel reform. Sock puppetry is never a good idea, kids. (Thanks to Slog tipper Rich.)