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YouTuber who defamed Cardi B agrees to remove defamatory content

By | Published on Tuesday 5 April 2022

Cardi B

The YouTuber who was ordered to pay Cardi B $4 million after losing a defamation legal battle has agreed to remove various videos and social media posts that contain various statements deemed defamatory by the court.

The rapper – real name Belcalis Almanzar – sued YouTuber Latasha Kebe over various claims that had been made in videos she posted to her YouTube channel.

During a court hearing in January, Kebe admitted that she didn’t fact-check any of the allegations made about Almanzar in her videos, but claimed that many of those allegations were mere opinion, while also questioning whether her content had caused the kind of emotional distress that the rapper claimed.

Meanwhile, Almanzar and her legal team told the court that the untrue allegations spread by Kebe had had a tangible negative impact on the rapper’s mental health. Almanzar herself discussed how the widespread public speculation about her private life sparked by the rumours that were spread by Kebe made her depressed and suicidal.

The jury hearing the case quickly sided with Almanzar and ordered Kebe to pay the $4 million in damages. But there was also the issue of the videos containing the defamatory statements, some of which continued to be available via Kebe’s channel.

Last month Almanzar returned to court seeking an injunction ordering that those videos be taken offline. Anticipating that Kebe might respond with First Amendment free speech objections, Almanzar’s court filing stated: “Plaintiff is only seeking to require defendants to remove any videos and posts that contain the defamatory statements from their social media accounts and to enjoin defendants from republishing those same statements”.

“In other words”, it went on, “the proposed injunction will only affect speech that has been found defamatory and thus is not subject to First Amendment protection, which is consistent with the federal and state constitutions and the weight of authority on this issue”.

But, it seems, the YouTuber – who is busy appealing the court’s main ruling in this case and the $4 million in damages she was ordered to pay – isn’t planning on fighting Almanzar on the injunction, despite previously resisting efforts to have her videos removed.

Ahead of a court hearing to discuss the rapper’s motion for that injunction, it was confirmed that Kebe had reached an agreement with Almanzar’s legal team regarding the removal of defamatory content.

Court papers summarising what has been agreed identify some specific YouTube videos and social media posts that Kebe will remove, but also outline various statements that the YouTuber must not include or feature in any future videos and posts, given the court’s earlier conclusion that those statements are defamatory.

“It is ordered”, the court papers read, “that defendants and all persons acting in concert or participation with them are each permanently enjoined from publishing or republishing on the internet or otherwise the following statements that were judged false and defamatory by the jury in this action”.

That includes any statement to the effect that Almanzar “engaged in prostitution, has herpes, has HPV, uses or used cocaine, performed a debasing act with a beer bottle, and committed adultery”; or more specifically that she “is a prostitute” or “cokehead”, “sold pussy”, “has cold sores”, or placed “beer bottles up her vagina”.

Also off limits are any statements that claim Almanzar “committed adultery by ‘fucking’ or ‘sleeping with’ somebody other than her husband”, “has a ‘side peen'”, or that “somebody other than plaintiff’s husband is ‘licking her pussy'”. So, that’s all pretty clear.

Kebe has agreed to not oppose any of those restrictions in the short term, but could seek to change them if she has any success on appeal.

The court papers conclude: “In the event the judgment is reversed in whole or in part as a result of the appeal, nothing herein shall prevent the defendants from seeking to modify or rescind this permanent injunction consistent with the decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court Of Appeals”.