Can a media outlet fabricate a story about a celebrity and then use their fashion sense as court evidence?
Fitness guru and actor Richard Simmons is known for his flamboyant personality – and the National Enquirer’s publisher is using his “well-publicized testing of the boundaries of gender classification” as part of their defense for fake stories about Simmons undergoing treatment to become a transgender woman.
Brad Staggs had the story as part of the day’s headlines on Tuesday’s “The Morning Blaze with Doc Thompson,” and Kal Elsebai shared his story of meeting Simmons in person and getting a hug.
"He's all man," Kal attested.
Doc Thompson was skeptical that Simmons could even be perceived as transitioning. “Listen, if you are, Richard, you’ve been doing it wrong,” he quipped.
The aerobics instructor known for his “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” videos has been on a career hiatus for the past few years. The National Enquirer and Radar Online claimed that Simmons was on a hiatus while he was transitioning from male to female; in May, Simmons filed a lawsuit in response to the stories, ABC News reported.
The National Enquirer "has gone out of its way to try and humiliate and embarrass and slander" Simmons, Neville Johnson, the actor’s attorney, told ABC News. The media company is arguing that Simmons can’t demonstrate that the articles about “shocking sex surgery” were harmful to his career and reputation, “given his pre-existing reputation for gender ambiguity, his well-publicized testing of the boundaries of gender classification, and his willingness to be depicted as a woman," according to The Hollywood Reporter.