MSNBC’s Joy Reid is potentially in some legal doo doo after falling for a viral photo of a woman she thought was hurling racial slurs at a teen. Now the cable news host is being sued for defamation.
Reid apologized on Twitter for her mistake, but the woman is seeing dollar signs for the pain and suffering — economic and otherwise — she says she endured at the hands of the host who she says used her position to slime her.
According to TheWrap, Roslyn La Liberte filed the lawsuit Tuesday in the Eastern District Court of New York. MSNBC is not named and had no comment on the matter. Reid’s lawyer, John Reichman, did not immediately return an email request for comment.
“Defendant Joy Reid is a nationally known political commentator and reporter for MSNBC and has been described as the network’s ‘new star,'” the suit states. “She is the host of ‘AM Joy,’ a show that is reportedly broadcast to more than a million viewers on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. She is also the host of the ‘AM Joy Podcast.’ She is extremely popular on social media – at the time these events occurred she had some 1.24 million Twitter followers, 96,600 Instagram followers, and 206,400 Facebook followers.”
“Reid used her substantial social media presence, fame, and reputation as a hard- hitting journalist to publish to her many followers that Plaintiff Roslyn La Liberte screamed abhorrent racial slurs at a 14- year-old boy.”
So here’s what went down.
A video of a woman in a MAGA hat was seen shouting at a teenage boy at a City Council meeting in Simi Valley, Calif. in June. After the photograph went viral, Reid went off on La Liberte for shouting racial slurs — specifically “dirty Mexican” — at the 14-year-old when she had done nothing of the kind.
But the boy, Jose Luevanos, said the exchange had been “civil.” The woman and the boy even embraced each other.
Reid formally apologized to La Liberte on Twitter in July. “It appears I got this wrong,” Reid wrote. “My apologies to Mrs. La Liberte and Joseph.”
Check out the picture that many people, including Reid, twisted here.
And see the video in which the boy and his mother explained what really happened here.
The lawsuit says Reid use her position as a popular cable host to not just demean a President Trump supporter — but to destroy her. The doc says Reid created “out of whole cloth” the idea that La Liberte called the teen a “dirty Mexican.”
But that isn’t quite true.
Later in the document, it is explained that Reid obtained that information from Alan Vargas, a teenage social media activist who tweeted that the boy had been called a “dirty Mexican” and that “this woman” needs to be put “on blast.”
The suit states that Reid — not Vargas — first introduced the idea that La Liberte called the teen a “dirty Mexican.”
As a result, La Liberte received “hate messages”and some death threats in the form of tweets, text, hard mail, email and even one horrifying voicemail.
“Reid made her false accusations for the improper purpose of advancing her own professional and political agenda at the expense of La Liberte’s reputation and privacy,” the suit states.
“Reid has a demonstrable, extreme, and well-publicized bias against President Donald Trump, his supporters, and the Republican Party.”
“Reid set out to destroy La Liberte because she disagrees with La Liberte’s MAGA hat and the beliefs Reid ascribes to those wearing that hat conflict with her ideology.”
The lawsuit included nine damning examples of hate messages that La Liberte received:
Sample 1: “Want Out? Your life is probably becoming a living hell and you don’t know how to handle it. I can offer a way out.”
Sample 2: “You’re a worthless human being. Go kill yourself.”
Reid is being sued for her retweets, tweets, as well as Instagram and Facebook posts.