Fitness instructor, actor, and comedian Richard Simmons is best known for his “‘Sweatin’ to the Oldies” aerobics videos, along with his flamboyant and spirited personality.
Back in May of 2017, Simmons filed a suit against the National Enquirer and Radar Online for running a series of articles alleging he had a sex change operation.
While Simmons publicly supports transgender rights, his argument was that the tabloids should report the truth.
A lawyer for Simmons said: “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 L.G.B.T.Q. rights is entitled to be portrayed in a manner that is truthful.”
Cause for Defamation?
Fast forward to earlier this month, Judge Gregory Keosian of the Los Angeles Superior Court has ordered Simmons to pay the media outlets’ attorneys’ fees of approximately $130K.
Judge Keosian’s reason for ruling this way is that asserting that someone is transgender is not in particular a cause for defamation.
Simmons’ lawyers went on to say that with Simmons being a celebrity, he has a legal right to “not be portrayed as someone he is not.”
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groups, Google+ Circles.