Richard Simmons loses ruling in defamation case against "National Enquirer"
FilmMagic/Rodrigo Vaz(LOS ANGELES) — Looks like Richard Simmons has lost his defamation suit against the National Enquirer and Radar Online, Variety reports.
On Wednesday a judge in Los Angeles issued a tentative ruling suggesting that he would be dismissing the case. Simmons sued in May over stories that claimed he was in the process of becoming a woman.
Quoting the ruling, Variety reports that Judge Gregory Keosian ruled that being misidentified as transgender doesn’t inherently mean someone has been defamed.
“While, as a practical matter, the characteristic may be held in contempt by a portion of the population, the court will not validate those prejudices by legally recognizing them,” Keosian ruled.
At a hearing on Wednesday, lawyers for the fitness guru had argued that the intent of the National Enquirer story was to ridicule Simmons.
“The object of the National Enquirer was to do everything they could to humiliate this person,” Simmons attorney Neville Johnson argued. “They made it up entirely out of whole cloth. I submit that when you make something up intentionally… and put it on the cover, there’s an inference you can make that somebody’s reputation is going to be harmed.”
But the judge sided with an argument made by the defendants attorney Kelli Sager that, “There is nothing inherently bad about being transgender.”
Judge Keosian is expect to issue a final ruling shortly.
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