Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Woman Falsely Accused of Being Chad Ochocinco's Baby Mama Sues For Defamation

Earlier this year, the Internet went crazy when news broke that NFL star Chad Ochocinco, who's engaged to be married, is expecting a baby with a woman named "Paige." Sounds scandalous. If it were true. According to the woman -- Hana Augins who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland -- the rumor all began on Miss Jones' (aka Jonesy) radio show and now she's filed a lawsuit alleging defamation, invasion of privacy, infringement of the right of publicity, and reckless infliction of emotional distress, according to documents obtained by the folks over at Courthouse News.
Augins' ordeal began when a woman known as "Paige" called the "Jonesy in the Morning" show and "said during the on-air call to Jonesy that she is three months pregnant by Ochocinco, who is widely known to be engaged to be married to a different woman," according to the federal complaint. Paige then sent a purported picture of herself to Jonesy (Tarsha Jones), according to the complaint. "However, the photograph Paige sent to Jonesy was, in fact, a photograph of plaintiff," the complaint states. "Without verifying the authenticity of the photograph ... Jonesy caused the misidentified photograph of plaintiff to be posted on the Power99 website under the heading: 'Chad Ochocinco's Baby Mama Revealed!!!!!'," according to the complaint. That's when the story went viral, Augins says. In what the complaint characterizes as an "electronic onslaught," the photo and story were "picked up and posted on no fewer than fifty (50) websites ... many of whom have posted additional photographs of plaintiff under similar headlines and descriptions," in which Augins is repeatedly referred to as Ochocinco's "baby mama." At least 15 of the websites are controlled by defendant Radio One, Augins says. When she tried to have the photos removed, Augins says, the response was anything but accommodating. Defendant Robert Littal, CEO of the website BlackSportsOnline, "consistently and incredulously" refuses to remove the photos from his site "until plaintiff proves to him that she is not [caller] 'Paige,'" according to the complaint. Viewers of the photograph left comments "amounting to ridicule and contempt directed at plaintiff's image," and Augins was "bombarded with telephone calls, emails, and text messages from all over the country by family members, friends and associates, who were shocked, outraged and extremely embarrassed by the postings," the complaint states. Adding insult to injury, when Augins contacted Jonesy and told him that she was "extremely humiliated" by the postings, Jonesy went on the attack, Augins says. Jonesy acknowledged that her photo had been posted despite a producer's suspicion that it might have been doctored, and "expressed unwarranted and uninvited jocularity about the controversy and even said to plaintiff that she (plaintiff) was beautiful and asked plaintiff whether she was sure she didn't 'want to meet Ochocinco,'" according to the complaint. (Parentheses in original.) When Jonesy received a cease-and-desist letter from Augins' attorney, requesting that the host apologize to Augins, once per hour during his show, the host acted "as if plaintiff were the perpetrator as opposed to the victim in this sexually charged episode," Augins claims. The host sent an email to Augins warning her that if her attorney "contacts me on ANY level ever again I will not hesitate to file criminal charges against him for harassment," according to the complaint. That same day, Jonesy followed up with another angry missive: "Tell ur lawyer he's a fuckin fool if he thinks I'm apologizing to you once an hour on air or at all! Yall are greedy bastards trying to get a payday but it aint gonna happen. Foh," the host fumed, according to the complaint. (All spellings as in complaint.) "'Foh' commonly means 'Fuck outta here,'" according to the complaint.
Hana says she doesn't know how or when her photos were "stolen" and got in the hands of Miss Jones. She's suing Clear Channel, Radio One and BlackSportsOnline for an unspecified amount of cash and wants the Web sites to remove her images. Surprisingly, although she claims Miss Jones verbally attacked her and made fun of her on air (which apparently caused her emotional anguish and sought treatment from a psychiatrist), Hana is not suing the radio jock.

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