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Gawker Sued For $10M By Wrongly ID’d Schwarzenegger Mistress

Gawker is being sued by a California woman for defamation by libel after she says she was wrongly identified as a former lover of Arnold Schwarzenegger during the height of his love child scandal.

Tammy Tousignant was a flight attendant on Schwarzenegger’s private jet between 1987 and 1999, and was mistakenly pegged in 2003 by the National Enquirer as the mother of Schwarzenegger’s child. When Schwarzenegger admitted to fathering a child with a then-unnamed member of his staff in May of this year, Gawker staffer John Cook published a post about the original assertion by the Enquirer.

Gawker later retracted the story– saying that while their source at the Daily Mail claimed to have “unspecified evidence” of the claim’s accuracy, the site had no original research to back up the assertion. However, the damage to Tousignant was done, according to the suit filed against Gawker Media and several other comapanies.

In the claim, Tousignant and her husband allege:

… ignoring the obvious differences between Tammy Tousignant and the description of the mother of the so-called ‘love child’ in the Los Angeles Timesarticle, on May 17, 2011 the gossip website Gawker ran an ‘Exclusive’ article by John Cook under the heading ‘Is This Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Love Child?’ in which it falsely reported that Tammy Tousignant was the ‘longtime member of [Schwarzeneggers’] household staff’ referred to in the Los Angeles Times article and that Tanner Tousignant was the illegitimate ‘love child’ of Schwarzenegger mentioned in that same article. Gawker posted photographs of Tammy and Tanner (pulled from his high school yearbook) next to the bold headline: ‘DADDY?'”

The Tousignants are seeking $10 million in compensatory damages in the defamation by libel suit, as well as unspecified punitive damages.