Man files defamation case against media after his mullet becomes subject of viral meme
A man has filed a defamation case against several media organisations after his "striking mullet" hairstyle became an internet sensation.
Ali Ziggi Mosslmani, who is known as "Ziggy", filed for defamation claiming that the Daily Mail, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and the Australian Radio Network published his photograph poking fun at his haircut.
The photograph showed Ziggy with a shaved head at the front and long hair at the back of his head.
Sydney's Daily Telegraph superimposed images showed his hair alongside a skunk and the man's lawyers are now claiming that he was defamed as a "hideously ugly" person.
District court judge Judith Gibson, who is presiding over the case, said in a preliminary judgement that the remarks were made mostly in jest.
She said: “The plaintiff’s striking mullet haircut has generated a great deal of interest on the internet, most of it humorous, and some of it in the form of clever observations, such as the ‘Pythagoras’ direction in one of the memes,” she said.
Judge Gibson also said that the case was "overpleaded," adding that the plaintiff's team appeared to be trying to “claim as many imputations as possible while simultaneously avoiding a defence of honest opinion or justification”.
“The publication goes on to say that the photograph has generated 11,415 comments, 10,000 likes and 1.7m views, which suggests that the hairstyle has its fans and opponents, but is not indicative of ugliness; to the contrary, 10,000 people pressed the ‘like’ button,” Judge Gibson added.
Proceedings will continue on 17 November.