The Daily Mail claimed the American dance and musical group The Pussycat Dolls are really part of a “prostitution ring” and that its members are “hooked on drugs.” Now the group and its founder and choreographer, Robin Antin, are suing the newspaper.
The articles also claimed Antin “mentally and verbally abused” The Pussycat Dolls’ members “every second of the day,” according to the lawsuit.
iMediaEthics wrote to Richard Busch, the lawyer for The Pussycat Dolls and Antin, to ask if any other news outlets would be sued and if there is any further comment about the decision to sue. Busch declined to comment beyond the lawsuit. iMediaEthics has contacted the Mail for comment.
The articles were based on tweets by Kaya Jones, a former member of the group. The lawsuit says Jones only auditioned and was a backup singer on two songs, not a member of the group. iMediaEthics has written to Jones to ask if she has been sued.
The lawsuit focuses on the Oct. 15, 2017 online article, “‘We were all abused’: Former member of Pussycat Dolls Kaya Jones says the band was a front for a ‘prostitution ring’ and the singers were ‘passed around’ and ‘abused’ by industry executives” and the Oct. 17, 2017 online article, “EXCLUSIVE: Defiant ex-Pussycat Doll Kaya Jones tells how top record exec sexually assaulted her in the back of his limo – one day after saying the band was more ‘prostitution ring’ than pop group.” The Mail didn’t contact Antin or the Pussycat Dolls before publication, the lawsuit says.
The Hollywood Reporter uploaded a copy of the lawsuit, which notes the Daily Mail has previously interviewed members of the group and Antin and is aware that there were no claims about abuse, drugs or prostitution.
The lawsuit claims the articles were “intentional, reckless and malicious” and notes that the plaintiffs called for a retractions in Oct. 2017.