Melania Trump has successfully forced the removal of a YouTube video that implied her 10-year-old son, Barron, might be autistic.
The video became viral after Rosie O’Donnell shared the link on Twitter with the caption, “Barron Trump Autistic? If so — what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic.”
Melania hired high-profile lawyer Charles Harder to help her get the video deleted, according to TMZ. Harder sent a letter to James Hunter, the YouTube user who created the video, threatening to sue for defamation.
“The video includes the hashtag ‘StopTheBullying’ but yet the video itself is bullying by making false statements and speculation about a 10-year-old boy for the purpose of harassing him and his parents,” Harder said. “The online bullying of children, including Barron Trump, should end now.”
Harder stated to Us Weekly, “The video regarding Barron Trump has been removed, and the person who posted it has retracted it and apologized for it, at the same YouTube page.”
Hunter deleted the video within 24 hours and issued an official apology, saying: “It was incredibly irresponsible of me to diagnose Barron Trump using a selection of misleading videos. I falsely correlated him trying to stay awake and occasionally doing quirky things, with him suffering from autism.”
The YouTube video uploader goes further by saying the video was “false, defamatory and malicious,” and even said he was diagnosed with autism himself, reports Us Weekly:
I never ever meant this as a bullying video.
As someone who was diagnosed at age 5 and has gone through bullying myself, I would NEVER do something like that. I made this because I truly believed Barron was on the spectrum, and I wanted people to stop bullying him over his ‘weird’ behavior and explain to them that it might actually be due to a condition. … I have a great respect for [Melania] and her family. I never meant to hurt anyone.
Sources: TMZ, Us Weekly / Photo credit: Gordon McDowell/Flickr, Inquisitr