Richard Simmons, who has been reclusive in the last few years, is now suing the National Enquirer and Radar Online for defamation because they said he is transitioning.
Simmons’s lawyer is points out that, even though he’s suing someone for calling him transgender, he has no problem with trans people,
“The cruel and malicious publication of these stories is particularly offensive because Mr. Simmons fully supports individual autonomy and the essential human dignity of every person to make his or her own personal choices regarding sexual identity. Mr. Simmons has been an avid support of the LGBTQ community for his entire life.“
But in order to sue someone, you need to be able to show damages and defamation is no different. The legal definition of defamation requires that the victim’s reputation be hurt.
Simmons’s suit says that he lost business and personal contacts because of these stories.
According to LGBTQ Nation,
The problem is transphobia, not being seen as transgender. If someone loses a business deal because they are transgender and the other person is transphobic, then blame transphobia. If this is a reason to sue anyone, then it’s a reason to sue the people who refused to do business with Simmons, not the Enquirer and Radar.
Because where do transgender people go when they lose business because of transphobia? Not every state bans employment discrimination based on gender identity, and even in a state that does it’s just not possible to sue people for not buying your exercise video because they hate trans people.
For someone who isn’t even really out publicly, this is a weak case, if you ask me. Your fans don’t care either way, they’ve always accepted you and loved you.
(via LGBTQ Nation)