'Toddlers & Tiaras' mother files $30 million lawsuit for 'sexualizing' daughter
The mother of "Toddlers & Tiaras" star Isabella Barrett has filed a libel suit, accusing three entertainment outlets of "sexualizing" her 5-year-old daughter.
The suit was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on January 23 and names the parent companies of entertainment websites TMZ, the Huffington Post and the UK's Daily Mail. The suit accuses them of "falsely claiming that she was gyrating in a nightclub and singing about her sex appeal," according to legal documents obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com.
Susanna Barrett, the girl's mother, is referring to the publications of stories which featured a video of Isabella singing along to the band LMFAO's club hit, "Sexy and I Know It" at the Cocktails that Care Charity Event in New York City to benefit two dog-related causes.
In the articles, Isabella was said to be "gyrating" at a "nightclub" to the song "Sexy and I Know It" while her mother "pushed" her on and was "enjoying the raucous event far more than her bemused looking child."
Susanna Barrett fired back at the sites in her lawsuit, claiming they made false claims and left her child vulnerable to "deviants and child predators."
"Isabella Barrett did not act or portray herself sexually, erotically or provocatively: she was not 'gyrating' at a 'nightclub' or singing 'about her sex appeal,'" Barrett's document reads. "It is the Defendants who, through their Articles, have thrust these false and vulgar characteristics on to Isabella. As a result, Isabella is now perceived sexually, erotically and pornographically by the readership of the Articles. Defendants have placed Isabella in serious physical danger, attracting the attention of others who would seek to sexualize a child."
Susanna claimed that it was the female DJ at the event that encouraged Isabella to sing the song and does not take kindly to being called an "unfit mother" by media outlets and commenters.
"She did not understand the concept of sex, let alone 'sex appeal' and could not have been singing about her own sex appeal," Susanna added.
According to the New York Daily News, Susanna Barrett is seeking $30 million in damages.
TMZ caught up with Isabella and her mother , a few days after the video went viral and Barrett defended the incident, telling a TMZ camera man, "That's a real catchy song" (See video below).
Isabella was featured on TLC's "Toddlers & Tiaras," has her own show "Beauty Queens" in Germany and also launched lip gloss and a Glizty Girl jewelry line.
Isabella recently criticized her fellow "Toddlers & Tiaras" star, 3-year-old Paisley Dickey, who made headlines for dressing up like Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman."
"Last time I was here, Paisley was trying to copy me," Barrett told TMZ. "But my mom doesn't dress me up as a hooker."
Who do you think is at fault for the alleged "sexualization" of Isabella Barrett? Watch a video from the event, a TMZ video with Isabella and her mother and vote in our poll below.