Influencer and image consultant Kefilwe Mabote has been hailed for taking a stand for herself after she announced that she would be going after tabloid Sunday World for R1 million in damages after they allegedly defamed her image.
Mabote detailed her qualms with the publication in a since-deleted Instagram containing a statement along with screenshots of a letter of demand served to Sunday World by her lawyers.
According to her statement, she took particular offense to an article titled “Tough times for slay queens” in which she says the publication insinuated that she is a “slay queen” who is on the “bedroom roll” of wealthy men, with businessman Edwin Sodi being listed as one of those men.
Mabote then confirmed that she and Sodi are in a “happy, healthy and private relationship” and insisted that they do not have any business ties.
Sodi has been in the spotlight over the last few weeks for his involvement in the controversial multimillion-rand asbestos audit project case after he was publicly arrested and had most of his assets seized.
Her lawyers’ letter also reveals that she and Sodi had “only had relations for no more than a year”.
“I have resorted to seeking legal recourse against Fundudzi Media, the publishing house of Sunday World, as their defamatory and derogatory article has since brought my reputation and brand into disrepute, thus affecting my relationships with various brands,” said Mabote in a statement.
She added that this is a matter that “sits very closely to her heart” as all sort of allegations are often levelled against influencers and this reportedly affects their business.
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According to her lawyers’ letter, the article in question “contains unfounded allegations, is derogatory, defamatory and has since resulted in reputational damage which is currently affecting her business dealings and livelihood as various brands have now placed our client’s reputation in question, which is damaging her longstanding business relationships and may result in the cancellation and non-renewal of business agreements”.
The letter concludes by demanding a retraction with immediate effect as well as a front-page apology in the newspaper’s next issue.
Additionally, Mabote would also like the publication to run an article, featuring her input, about the “effects and damage caused by media outlets due to the publication of false and unfounded allegations on how social media influencers and businesswomen are ordinarily defamed and degraded by the term ‘slay queens’”.
Perhaps the most talked-about item in the letter is the final demand of R1 million to be paid in seven days in order to avoid further legal action.
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