Richard Simmons Sues National Enquirer Over “Cruel” Sex-Change Story
Richard Simmons Sues Tabloids For Egregious Conduct
Fitness icon Richard Simmons isn’t missing, despite what the various magazines in the checkout line are trying to have you believe. For those looking, start at the Los Angeles Superior Court, where he’s suing the National Enquirer.
Simmons has been the target of several “cruel and malicious” articles published between March 2016 and March 2017. Some of the articles claim he’s currently transitioning between male to female (listed as “shocking sex surgery”).
The complaint was filed as “particularly egregious” conduct for the tabloid.
Everyone’s Entitled To Be Portrayed As Truthful In News
The original complaint read:
“National Enquirer and Radar Online have miscalculated. The National Enquirer and Radar Online have cheaply and crassly commercialized and sensationalized an issue that ought to be treated with respect and sensitivity. Principles of freedom of speech and press may protect their prerogative to mock and degrade the LGBTQ community. But freedom to speak is not freedom to defame.”
“Mr. Simmons, like every person in this nation, has a legal right to insist that he not be portrayed as someone he is not. Even the most ardent supporter of sexual autonomy and LGBTQ rights is entitled to be portrayed in a manner that is truthful.”
Lawsuit Raises Various Celebrity, Provocative Issues
The Hollywood Reporter reports:
“The lawsuit raises provocative issues. Past courts have grappled with the question of whether being called gay is actually a stain on one’s reputation. Other courts have dealt with public accusations of cosmetic surgery in the reputational context. Results have been mixed.”
“For instance, Tom Cruise once won a default judgment against a porn actor who claimed an affair, while a New York appeals court in 2012 ruled that defamation suits premised on one’s sexuality are “based on the flawed premise that it is shameful and disgraceful to be described as lesbian, gay or bisexual.”