The mother of one of the stars of “Toddlers & Tiaras” is suing three media outlets for libel, claiming they “brazenly attempt[ed] to sexualize” 5-year-old Isabella Barrett in stories posted earlier this month.
Susanna Barrett is suing TMZ, the Huffington Post and London’s Daily Mail over stories they posted following Isabella’s appearance at a club in New York on Jan. 9. TMZ put up video of Isabella singing along to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It,” and Huffington Post and the Daily Mail later posted stories based on the video.
The suit (as reported by the New York Daily News) contends the three sites “claim[ed] she was gyrating in a nightclub and singing about her sex appeal.”
“Isabella Barrett did not act or portray herself sexually, erotically or provocatively; she was not ‘gyrating’ at a ‘nightclub’ or singing ‘about her sex appeal.’ On the contrary, it is the defendants who, through their articles, have thrust these false and vulgar characteristics on to Isabella,” the suit reads.
We checked the initial posts (TMZ; HuffPo; Daily Mail), and the word “gyrating” doesn’t appear in any of them. TMZ does use the phrase “singing about her sex appeal,” and the Mail misidentifies the adult in the video, a DJ at the club, as Susanna Barrett. But that’s pretty much it.
Isabella previously made waves when, in a separate TMZ video, she said fellow “Toddlers & Tiaras” star Paisley Dickey dresses “like a hooker” (referring to the show’s infamous “Pretty Woman” moment).
Susanna Barrett is seeking $30 million in damages in the suit.