Quaden Bayles has filed a lawsuit against a publisher over a reporter’s retweet of conspiracy theories that the video was a fake and the boy was a grown man, Your Content has exclusively learned.
According to court documents exclusively obtained by Your Content, Bayles, 9, is suing News Corp columnist Miranda Devine for defamation over tweets suggesting he pretended to be a victim of bullying in a viral online video.
Quaden Bayles’ mother Yarraka filed Federal Court proceedings on July 31 on his behalf, and is also suing Devine and her employer in her own right.
At the center of the defamation lawsuit is a February 21 tweet by Miranda Devine, a columnist at The Daily Telegraph in Sydney on secondment at The New York Post, and two replies on February 22.
In the initial tweet, Devine re-tweeted a post by American twitter user Paul A. Szypula, who has the username “Bubblebathgirl”. He alleged Quaden was an “Australian actor whose mom … posted a fake sobbing video of him” and “the MSM [mainstream media] and Hollywood fell for it and got him $300K+ in donations.”
As Your Content readers know, federal authorities were said to be investigating claims that a 9-year-old bullied boy might actually be a grown man who bamboozled the public into nearly 1/4 million in donations
In a comment above the re-tweet, Devine wrote: “That’s really rotten if this was a scam. Hurts genuine bullying victims. Over to @dailytelegraph.”
Quaden’s lawyers, Sydney barrister Sue Chrysanthou and law firm Centennial Lawyers, say the tweets defame him by suggesting he “dishonestly acted out being distressed in a video to obtain money from donors” and “dishonestly pretended to have been the victim of bullying, thereby hurting genuine victims of bullying.”
Your Content previously reported that when harsh bullies criticized Quaden Bayles, 9, for his dwarfism, he said to his mother as they were journeying home: “Give me a knife, I want to kill myself.”
His mother, Yarraka Bayles, from the Australian state of Queensland, captured the chilling moment on her phone.
Millions were convinced he was actually an 18-year-old sociopathic man who had masqueraded as a child for years and tried to con people out of their money.
The Bayles’ allege they have suffered hurt due Devine’s actions, including great injury to their reputations, and that this hurt was aggravated by a number of factors.
After receiving notice via email from the applicants’ solicitors, the Daily Telegraph “disingenuously” denied that it had liability for the tweets from Devine’s personal account and claimed that Devine had been sympathetic to and supportive of the Bayles family, which further aggravated the harm to the mother and son, the lawsuit claims.
The Daily Telegraph’s in-house counsel also allegedly refused to accept service of the lawsuit.