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in brief: sarah hanson-young vs. zoo weekly


Greens senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, recently filed a defamation action against Zoo Weekly, after the magazine published a picture of Hanson-Young’s face photoshopped onto the body of a bikini model in June 2012.

Published with the photo was a caption that stated that the magazine would ‘house the next boatload of asylum seekers in the Zoo office’, if Hanson-Young agreed to a bikini or lingerie photo shoot. The article, even more disgustingly, was titled ‘ZOO’s Asylum Seeker Bikini Plan.’

Amidst the outrage over the publication of the article, Hanson-Young said that Zoo had implied that being a sexual object was the only thing she was good for, and that it had left her exposed to ridicule.

Bauer Media, Zoo’s publisher, claimed that the ordinary reader would recognise the picture and caption as ‘facetious’, and that they wouldn’t be taken seriously.

Regardless of this, on Monday, NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum said that the publication was ‘reasonably capable of conveying that, by reason of her pro asylum seeker stance, the plaintiff was justifiably exposed to ridicule.’

Though Justice McCallum had previously dismissed Hanson-Young’s arguments that the article made her look incompetent and immature, the judge has noted that the article was ‘satirical and calculated to hold the plaintiff up to ridicule.’

Justice McCallum has now said that the defamatory imputations claimed to have been made by Hanson-Young are ‘capable of being made out.’

The matter will be pursued in court in the near future.

[Image Credit]


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