(CN) – The New York Post did not commit libel when it reported on the alleged sexual fantasies of a transgendered model who was suing a billionaire for sexual exploitation, a New York appellate division ruled.
Ava Cordero sued money manager Jeffrey Epstein, alleging that he traded sexual favors with her in exchange for helping her modeling career.
The Post ran a story on the lawsuit before following with an updated story that Ava was born a male. The article referred to MySpace pages allegedly belonging to Cordero. One of those pages included a description of a sexual fantasy involving multiple men, then multiple women.
Cordero sued the Post, claiming that the MySpace pages were fake, and the Post knew it. Cordero added that the Post’s publication of the sexual fantasy made the public think she was a “promiscuous slut.”
The Post countered that it did not libel Cordero, because it never printed that she acted on the fantasy.
The trial court denied the paper’s motion to dismiss the case, but the Manhattan-based appellate division reversed.
“At bottom, plaintiff’s claim of defamation rests on the contention that the average reader would infer that someone with such a lewd fantasy also is in fact sexually promiscuous,” the judges added. “That some readers might draw that inference does not render it reasonable.”