NSW deputy premier has engaged legal action against both YouTube Friendlyjordies and Google over several videos made last year.
Barilaro’s lawyers have claimed that the politician was defamed in the videos which imply he was “corrupt” and “committed perjury”.
The statement of claim also describes the videos as “vile and racist”. Barilaro’s lawyers pointed to language used by the comedian in videos, such as calling him a “conman to the core, powered by spaghetti”, “greasy Ned Kelly”, and a “big, fat wog cock”.
“By reason of the publication of [the videos] the applicant has been greatly injured in his personal and professional reputation and has been and will be brought into public disrepute, odium, ridicule and contempt,” the statement of claim says, according to The Guardian.
Friendlyjordies – real name Jordan Shanks – responded to the news on Twitter.
— 💧friendlyjordies (@friendlyjordies) May 28, 2021
Barilaro’s legal team has also included a claim that Google failed to remove videos from YouTube.
Shanks told The Herald over the weekend: “The lawsuit against me is designed to stifle anyone who wants to hold politicians to account. No one should mistake this lawsuit’s purpose for anything else.”
The legal action marks another twist in the ongoing dispute between Shanks and Barilaro.
Last year, Barilaro responded to the videos in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.
“I don’t mind taking the mickey out of myself, but this is actually very offensive,” Barilaro told the paper.
“It’s a low attempt at comedy and full of racist undertones,” he said.
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