Queerty got an email this afternoon from Jake’s law firm, asking that we remove the (probably fake) photo of him in his undies. We’re keeping the photo up, since it hasn’t been proven fake and because their letter bumped it from “funny and cute” to “actually newsworthy.”
“Your publication of this fake photo violates many legal rights of our client by, among other things, defaming him,” says Jake’s lawyer.
Oh, really? Defaming him? Well, we don’t like defaming anyone. You might even say that we are gays and lesbians allied against defamation.
But what exactly is the defamation here? Is is that people might think, wrongly, that Jake wears underpants? Or that his reputation is sullied by the idea that he allowed someone to photograph him without pants on? Or that he stayed in what looks like a cheap motel?
Simply calling something defamation doesn’t make it so, as Howard Stern learned in 2009 when he tried — and failed — to sue someone for suggesting that he’s gay. Is that what’s going on here?
Jake’s a public figure, and we can talk about him if we want to. We can even speculate about what he looks like in his underwear. We can’t — and won’t — claim that this picture of him is definitely authentic, since we just don’t know. (A lot of people seem to claim that it isn’t, but internet-photoshop-experts are about as reliable as internet-lawyers.)
In any case, if Jake wants us to take down a fake photograph of him in his underwear, all he has to do is provide us with a real photo and we’ll gladly post that one instead.
After the jump: read the lawyers’ letter.