Quaden Bayles sues Miranda Devine for defamation over tweet …

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Quaden Bayles, the nine-year-old Murri boy who appeared in a video that went viral, is suing News Corp and its high-profile columnist Miranda Devine for defamation.

In February Quaden’s mother, Yarraka Bayles, posted a video saying: “This is what bullying does,” after her son, who has dwarfism, was bullied at school.

About Quaden

Quaden Bayles sues Miranda Devine for defamation over tweet …

About Bayles
Bayles may refer to:

Bayles, Cumbria, a hamlet in England
Bayles, Victoria, a locality in Australia
Bayles (name), a surname

“I’ve just picked my son up from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal, and I want people to know, parents, educators, teachers, this is the effect that bullying has,” Yarraka says in the video.

In the confronting video, Quaden says: “Give me a knife, I want to kill myself.”

Quaden Bayles sues Miranda Devine for defamation over tweet …

But Quaden was accused of faking his distress by trolls after a fundraiser for him raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.

After the attacks from anonymous trolls the little boy was supported by the actor Hugh Jackman and invited to lead Australia’s Indigenous All Stars rugby league side on to the pitch for an exhibition match in Queensland.

Devine retweeted the Twitter user @bubblebathgirl, who claimed Quaden was an actor whose mother posted a fake sobbing video and collected $300,000 in donations.

Devine said: “That’s really rotten if this was a scam. Hurts genuine bullying victims.”

Photograph: Twitter

When the Twitter user @CoffeyJPC responded by saying: “It’s a crime if it is a scam. Child abuse. How could anyone parent do this?” Devine replied: “Yep. Exactly. On the case.”

The ABC Media Watch host, Paul Barry, criticised Devine’s post at the time and linked to a video by the factchecking website Snopes that confirmed Quaden’s age.

Barry said Devine should have checked the veracity of the post “as any proper journalist would do, she would know that it’s nonsense, and she should not be retweeting it and suggesting it might be true. Do you expect no standards from such a prominent columnist?”

But Devine did not delete her tweet and said: “Typical of your sloppy research @therealpbarry. I never mentioned anything about age. Dishonest diversion.”

The statement of claim says the tweet was defamatory because it carried the imputations that Quaden had “dishonestly acted out being distressed in a video to obtain money from donors” and that he had dishonestly pretended to be the victim of bullying, thereby hurting genuine victims of bullying”.

It also implied that his mother had “posted online a video of her son knowing it falsely depicted him as being distressed, to get donations” and that she had “dishonestly coached her son to pretend to be distressed to get donations”, according to the documents lodged in the federal court on Monday.

According to the statement of claim, News Corp lawyers in March refused to accept that the company had responsibility for Devine’s Twitter account, saying it was “self-evidently a personal account and is published by Twitter”.

New Corp said it would not comment on the matter. Devine has also been approached for comment.