Simmons framed his suit as a stand for dignity and the right to have a gender identity, but in an anti-SLAPP motion submitted in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, American Media challenges whether he could have really incurred reputational injury.
“Simmons has not, and cannot, make such allegations here,” write the media defendant’s lawyers. “Statements that someone is transgender, or undergoing a gender transition, do not impute the kind of inherently shameful or odious characteristic that can support a defamation claim in modern times. Just as with false imputations of race or homosexuality, which once were considered defamatory, being referred to as ‘transgender’ cannot rationally be held by a court to impute negative characteristics.”
American Media, through its attorneys at Davis Wright Tremaine, continue by doubting Simmons’ ability to plead special damages.
THR first reported the news.