August 05, 2011 9:42am PT by Eriq Gardner
Gawker Hit With Defamation Suit Over Schwarzenegger Love Child Story
A flight attendant who formerly worked on Arnold Schwarzenegger's private jet is suing Gawker after the website repeated 2003 articles in the National Enquirer and Daily Mail claiming she mothered the Governator's love child.
Tammy Tousignant has filed a $10 million defamation claim against Gawker Media, the Enquirer and the Daily Mail.
The original articles carried word that Tousignant had told friends that Schwarzenegger was the father of her then 11-year-old son, a claim that the woman successfully refuted with polygraph and paternity tests. The articles on the publications' websites were taken down, only to have the rumors once again surface on Gawker once the Los Angeles Times broke news that the the ex-governor indeed had a love child with a former staff member.
Gawker writer John Cook authored a post guessing at who that might be -- and he was wrong, which was later acknowledged in a retraction.
However, according to Tousignant's new lawsuit, Gawker would only acknowledge it was mistaken about the subject of the Los Angeles Times story, writing, "We haven't seen the results of the test, and we have no idea who is right," which the plaintiff takes to be a half-measure.
Tousingant says she offered to show Gawker the results of the paternity test, but the Nick Denton-owned site failed to respond to the offer.
Despite those love-child claims being demonstrably false, according to Tousingant, the plaintiffs "intentionally, maliciously, and with reckless disregard for the truthfulness of the statements therein, ran the stories anyway."
We've reached out to Gawker and if we hear anything, we'll update.