Earlier this year, Richard Simmons hit the National Enquirer with a defamation lawsuit for running a story, claiming he was transgender and transition. Richard lost that lawsuit this summer. Now TMZ is reporting that not only did he lose his case, he has to pay the Enquirer’s legal fees.
According to court docs, Simmons has been ordered to cover attorney costs and any other court fees incurred by the Enquirer. You’ll recall, Richard sued the tabloid for defaming him with a story saying he was in the process of sexual reassignment.
Boo! I have couple of fuck yous to give away. One goes out to the Enquirer for running this bullshit story. Richard is whatever Richard says he is. I say he’s a rainbow filled butterfly of light and positivity but his sexuality, whatever he has in his short shorts and what he does with it is none of my goddamned business. White Reebok hightop to the head for you, Enquirer! And another fuck you to Mauro Oliveira, the person Richard has accused of selling lies (according to Richard) to the Enquirer.
As to the ruling in this case, my gut tells me to give the judge a hearty “fuck you and the busted ass mule you rode in on” but it seems, there is a tricky precedent here to consider. According to Vanity Fair:
(Judge) Keosian writes that being called transgender, however falsely applied, does not meet the criteria for libel because, in the words of California law, the claim doesn’t “expose any person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy, or which causes him to be shunned or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure him in his occupation.” In other words, transgender is not a shameful designation, and Keosian won’t risk making it one by ruling in Simmons’s favor.
Vanity Fair suggests that the judge has decided apply the law by treating being transgender as it does race wherein “Like race, being transgender is an immutable characteristic.” and that “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”.
In 2003 Tom Cruise won a libel suit in Los Angeles after somebody called him gay in public (and was awarded $10 Million dollars) but in 2012 a New York appeals court ruled that being gay was “no longer slander”.
So, as they say, it’s complicated. I have no keen insight or business opining about the nuances of this ruling, but I am sad that Richard is the one caught up in this expensive public battle. I say Richard should refuse to pay the Enquirer a cent! Instead, he should send them a pair of his skidmark-stained Underoos. Actually, scratch that idea. Richard shits diamonds and other flawless gemstones, so his skidmarks are probably worth millions!