MSNBC host Joy Reid is in hot water yet again, this time over claims she falsely accused a Donald Trump supporter of lobbing racial slurs at a 14-year-old boy.
California resident Roslyn La Liberte has filed a defamation suit against the morning news anchor, accusing Reid of using “her substantial social media presence, fame, and reputation as a hard-hitting journalist” to spread false claims to her social media followers that La Liberte yelled “abhorrent racial slurs” at the young teen, according to court documents obtained by Mediaite.
In June, Reid shared a viral photo on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram depicting La Liberte, sporting a “Make America Great Again” hat, apparently shouting in the direction of the teenager at a city council meeting. In a series of now-deleted posts, the “AM Joy” host alleged La Liberte “showed up [to the meeting] in her MAGA hat, and screamed, ‘You’re going to be the first deported’ … ‘dirty Mexican!’”
La Liberte said the photo was misinterpreted, however, and said her interaction with the teen, Joseph Luevanos, ended amicably with the two hugging afterwards. At the time, Luevanos even told FOX 11 Los Angeles, “she was still trying to keep it civil, which I appreciate.”
“I never said anything disparaging. I never did,” La Liberte also told the station. “I’m not an evil person.”
The lawsuit, filed in New York Eastern District Court on Tuesday, claims Reid “made up out of whole cloth the accusation that La Liberte screamed racial slurs at a minor” and argued that her comments “were also born out of her personal animus and dislike of President Donald Trump, the Republican Party, and supporters of each, including those wearing MAGA hats.”
La Liberte said she’s received all sorts of threats and hate messages as a result of Reid’s statements.
Reid ultimately deleted the posts and apologized, but La Liberte was less than satisfied. Her defamation suit is now seeking an excess of $75,000 in damages, according to The Blast.
This isn’t the first time the news anchor has been mired in controversy. Reid was forced to issue an apology earlier this year after several incendiary homophobic posts were found on her now-defunct blog. She initially blamed hackers for authoring the offensive posts.
“There are things I deeply regret and am embarrassed by, things I would have said differently and issues where my position has changed,” she said in July. “Today I’m sincerely apologizing again.”