Hilary Duff and Wendy Williams sued for defamation by photographer
Hilary Duff is being sued by photographer Darryl Wilkins, whom she slammed on Instagram last February claiming he was taking pictures of her son Luca playing football in a park with other children.
Duff posted an Instagram video on February 22, 2020 of her confronting Wilkins and telling him ‘how creepy it is’ for him to have been taking the photos.
Now Wilkins is suing Duff for defamation – and is also suing Wendy Williams, who aired some of Duff’s footage on her talk show and took her side, The Blast reports.
Embattled: Hilary Duff is being sued by photographer Darryl Wilkins, whom she slammed on Instagram last February claiming he was taking pictures of her son Luca and other children
The suit alleges that the defendants engaged in fraud, malice and oppression and consequently owe Wilkins general, specific and punitive damages.
In the Instagram video Duff posted last year she repeatedly asked Wilkins to stop photographing the children and he repeatedly insisted it was legal to do so.
‘Well, I’m taking pictures. I’m practicing photography and I’m not here to scare you or anything like that. Your paranoia is unwarranted,’ he said.
Duff argued that it was ‘just an uncomfortability factor that these are seven-year-old children and you don’t have a child here.’
The clip: Duff posted an Instagram video on February 22, 2020 of her confronting Wilkins and telling him ‘how creepy it is’ for him to have been taking the photos
She shares her son Luca, eight, with her first husband Mike Comrie. She also has Banks, two, by her current husband Matthew Koma and is now pregnant again.
As the quarrel continued Duff said that she would ‘just post this to my 15 million followers on Instagram and let people know how creepy it is that this is what you’re choosing to do on Saturday morning,’ and he asked: ‘Creepy to who?’
Duff cited ‘all of these parents with these kids,’ to which Wilkins said she was ‘the one making it creepy’ and then appeared to put his palm over her camera.
‘Paparazzi shooting KIDS,’ Duff wrote in her caption. ‘Go “practice” your photography on ADULTS! Creep! Laws need to change! This is stalking minors! Disgusting!’
Allegations: Now Wilkins is suing Duff for defamation – and is also suing Wendy Williams, who aired some of Duff’s footage on her talk show and took her side, The Blast reports
Williams played clips of Duff’s video on her show, and after Wilkins was seen asking: ‘Creepy to who?’, Williams said: ‘Creepy to me, sir. If you’re practicing photography why wouldn’t you go into a park and take pictures of birds and butterflies?’
She also theorized that Wilkins ‘probably didn’t even recognize Hilary,’ quipping that ‘cash is king’ and Duff should have bribed him to go away.
The suit claims Duff defamed him as allegedly engaging in ‘reprehensible and despicable conduct including by innuendo that he was a child predator.’
Meanwhile Williams is being sued for slander as well because Wilkins claims her on-air remarks constitute a repetition of Duff’s claims.
‘My guy’: Duff is pictured with her now eight-year-old firstborn child Luca Comrie whom she shares with her first husband Mike Comrie
Wilkins insists he was just testing his camera in the park and his suit alleges Williams and Duff made ‘false statements because Wilkins is not a pedophile or child predator and was attempting to take photographs as a photographer and not as a paparazzi or stalker or with mal intent or evil wrongdoing.’
Furthermore the plaintiff is accusing Duff and Williams of deliberately ‘directly injur[ing] him in respect to his profession’ and knowingly making untrue statements.
Wilkins also says Duff and Williams knew that social media, the news and talk shows would pick up the story, which he says has become known across America.
As of this Friday the original video posted to Duff’s Instagram page last February has racked up more than two million views.