Joy Reid sued for defamation by Trump supporter over viral photo

A California woman named Roslyn La Liberte has filed a defamation lawsuit against Joy Reid, accusing the MSNBC star of spreading a false claim that La Liberte hurled racial slurs toward a teenage boy while attending a Simi Valley, Calif., city council meeting in June.

Reid latched onto a viral photo of La Liberte, wearing a MAGA hat and appearing to be in a heated conversation with a hoodie-wearing boy, that went mega-viral at the time.

But the young man, 14-year-old Joseph Luevanos, told local news that La Liberte had been “civil” and was even recorded hugging her at another moment during the meeting.

“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 (“La Liberte”) screamed abhorrent racial slurs at a fourteen (14) year old boy,” according to the suit, filed Tuesday in New York Eastern District Court.

The suit says that Reid targeted La Liberte because she was a Trump supporter.

“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 suit reads, going on to claim that “Reid published without any basis in fact” charges that La Liberte had screamed at the young man and called him a “dirty Mexican.”

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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 01: Joy-Ann Reid speaks during the Leading Women Defined: Women On Washington at Ritz Carlton Hotel on March 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for BET)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 01: Joy-Ann Reid speaks during the Leading Women Defined: Women On Washington at Ritz Carlton Hotel on March 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for BET)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) ? Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) left, and Joy Reid, Managing Editor, TheGrio.com, right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington D.C., Sunday, March 3, 2013. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: Joy Reid is seen at BET Honors 2014: Debra Lee Pre-Dinner at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on February 7, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/BET/Getty Images for BET)
Miami, FL - MAY 30: Rachel Jeantel, 20, receives a hug from journalist Joy Reid following her graduation from the Academy for Community Education (ACE) in Miami, Florida. Jeantel was on the phone with her friend Trayvon Martin just before he died from a gunshot wound in February of 2012. (Photo by Angel Valentin for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: TV personality Joy Reid and screenwriter John Ridley attend The Apple Store Soho Presents Meet The Creator at Apple Store Soho on February 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Joy-Ann Reid, MSNBC National Correspondent, left, and Hugh Hewitt, Host, The Hugh Hewitt Show, right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday Sept. 6, 2015. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Steve Schmidt, Republican Strategist, Joy-Ann Reid, MSNBC Correspondent; Author, Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide and moderator Chuck Todd, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday Jan. 17, 2016. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Bai, National Political Columnist, Yahoo! News, left, and Joy-Ann Reid, MSNBC Correspondent, right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday April 10, 2016. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) -- Moderator Chuck Todd, right, Joy-Ann Reid, Host, AM Joy appear on 'Meet the Press' in Cleveland, OH, Sunday July 17, 2016. -- (Photo by: Duane Prokop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: Correspondent and winner of the WMC Carol Jenkins Visible and Powerful Media Award, Joy Reid speaks onstage at the Women's Media Center 2016 Women's Media awards on September 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Women's Media Center)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: (L-R) Anita Sarkeesian, Samantha Bee, Regina K. Scully, and Joy Reid attend The Women's Media Center 2016 Women's Media Awards at Capitale on September 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: Comedian Kathy Griffin in conversation with Joy Reid at 92nd Street Y on November 23, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
PASADENA, CA - JULY 30: Charlamagne tha God (L) and Joy-Ann Reid at Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 30, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Politicon)
PASADENA, CA - JULY 30: Michael Steele (L) and Joy-Ann Reid at Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 30, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Politicon)
(L-R): Actress Viola Davis, Tina Brown and author Joy-Ann Reid speak onstage at the 2018 Women In The World Summit at Lincoln Center on April 12, 2018 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Tracy Martin, Joy Reid, and Sybrina Fulton attends the premiere of 'Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story' during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC on April 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
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Reps for Reid at MSNBC (which was not named in the suit) declined to comment. Reid’s lawyer John Reichman also did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap over the suit.

The anchor apologized to La Liberte on Twitter after receiving a “retraction demand,” according to the suit. La Liberte says the episode led to “hundreds if not thousands of hate messages” and “threats on her life.”

It’s not the first time Reid has taken heat for spreading falsehoods online. The anchor spent much of the spring of 2018 battling revelations that she made a number of incendiary and disparaging comments on an old blog during her time as a Florida radio host.

Among the posts were 9/11 conspiracy theories, jeering claims that then-Florida governor Charlie Crist was secretly gay and a post that photoshopped John McCain’s head onto the body or Virginia Tech shooting suspect Seung-Hui Cho.

Reid compounded the issue by saying her account was hacked — a claim that met with wide skepticism. She ultimately offered multiple on-air apologies before the issue was more or less put to rest.

“I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me but I can definitely understand based on things I have tweeted, have written in the past why some people don’t believe me,” she said at the top of her MSNBC show “AM Joy” in April. “For that I am truly, truly sorry.”

Read original story Joy Reid Sued for Defamation by Trump Supporter Over Viral Photo At TheWrap

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