The L.A Superior Court Judge issued a tentative decision on Wednesday dismissing Richard Simmons‘ lawsuit against the National Enquirer.
Simmons sued the publication in May, alleging that the Enquirer hurt his reputation by publishing a series of articles that reported he was transitioning to a woman.
However, AMI fired back with an anti-SLAPP motion, insisting that calling someone transgender in this day and age can hardly be considered a smear.
Judge Gregory Keosian tentatively ruled that being misidentified as transgender does not inherently expose someone to “hatred, contempt, ridicule or obloquy,” and therefore does not rise to the level of defamation.
“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.
Defense Attorney Kelli Sager called the suit “a case essentially in search of a legal theory.”
“It’s not something that is actionable,” Sager said. “There is nothing inherently bad about being transgender.
Stay with Star for the latest on this case.