‘Dancing with the Stars’ Pro Sued By Girl with Down Syndrome for $6 Million
“Dancing with the Stars” pro Val Chmerkovskiy has been sued by a 16-year-old girl with Down Syndrome for defamation, emotional distress and invasion of privacy. The girl is asking for $6 million in damages from the DWTS champion.
According to TMZ, Val shared a photo of the girl on Facebook three weeks ago with the caption: “Letting your kid become obese should be considered child abuse.”
The photo was taken in 2008, but because of Val, it went viral and the girl became subject of ridicule:
The girl claims, thanks to Val and CBS News — which also posted the pic — the meme went viral and she’s been humiliated. She says her mom sent several emails to Val asking him to take down the meme, and he responded with a post that read in part, “I am truly sorry for the lack of sensitivity … You’re handicapping your kid, and they’re defenseless.”
Val went on to criticize the girl’s mom, saying, “They don’t know better. That’s why you’re there.”
The girl is also suing CBS for $6 million and $600,000 from the photographer.
Sad all around.
Is spreading a meme really a crime? What’s happening here? Perhaps it was the follow up from Val that led to the lawsuit.