South Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech has said she is taking legal action against the owners of a Facebook page for “defamation of character”.
- Adut Akech moved to Australia as a child, before embarking on a successful modelling career
- She says her lawyers have contacted the owners of a South Sudanese Facebook page over its ‘defamatory’ posts about her
- The Juba Eye Facebook page last night issued an apology to Akech
On Thursday, Akech posted on her Facebook page that her lawyers had reached out to the owners of the Juba Eye Facebook page, which labels itself the “biggest South Sudan national, political, celebrity gossip, sports and entertainment news website”.
She said she had “kept her mouth shut” for almost a year while the page posted “steady” harassment of her.
She did not identify which posts she was referring to, but the Juba Eye page had posted what it claimed was an interview with her on May 10 and 11.
“I am booked and too busy living my life and dreams to pay any mind, especially to such uneducated stupid people,” she said in her Facebook post.
Akech said her lawyers had reached out to the unnamed team behind the page to let them know that she was suing them for defamation of character.
“Juba Eye your time is up! I’ve just about had it to my core and today this stops,” she said.
“To the illiterate, disgusting pieces of s*** behind this page, you got the right one today I’ll tell you that.”
Page issues public apology
On Saturday night, the Juba Eye page released an “official apology”.
The statement said the page was “legitimate in our endeavours to deliver the most accurate and unbiased news” to people in South Sudan.
“As a multinational page across many borders, authenticity should be our first priority. Our incentives are very clear, and that’s to engage in what does not in any way subordinate any person, organisation or ethnicity,” the statement read.
“We take it on our chin that Juba Eye is fully responsible for the actions that have led the model to her animosity and antitrust.”
Akech spent part of her childhood in a refugee camp in Kenya before moving to Adelaide with her family at the age of seven.
She has modelled for Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein, Prada and Versace and was named in Time magazine’s “Most Influential Teens of 2018”.
She was also selected by British Vogue guest editor Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, as one of 15 women on the cover of the Forces for Change edition in 2019.
That same year, Melbourne’s Lord Mayor met with Akech after a public relations agency employed by the council sent the wrong photo of the model to a celebrity magazine.
At the time, Akech said she felt “angry” and “disrespected” after Who magazine used the photo of model Flavia Lazarus and claimed it was her.
The public relations agency, OPR, and Who magazine later released statements apologising for the mistake.