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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
striking mullet

Australian teenager sues media over photograph of his mullet haircut

The New South Wales District Court judge in the case has dismissed all of the actions taken by Ali Mosslmani bar one.

jnoodles J Noodles Photography / Facebook J Noodles Photography / Facebook / Facebook

AN AUSTRALIAN MAN who claims he was made a subject of public ridicule has been requested to resubmit his claim for defamation.

Teenager Ali ‘Ziggy’ Mosslmani was the subject of a photograph taken at an 18th birthday party in Sydney in July of last year which subsequently went viral on Facebook.

Sporting what has been described as a “striking mullet haircut”, Mosslmani has taken defamation actions against the Daily Mail, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, and the Australian Radio Network for publishing the photograph and using it for comic purposes, and implying that he was “hideously ugly”, ABC Australia reports.

The haircut in question is shaved tight at the sides with the hair hanging low down the back. The photograph of Mosslmani was taken by a professional photographer called Jeremy Nool.

Today New South Wales District Court Judge Judith Gibson struck out the majority of Mosslmani’s claims in a preliminary judgement, having decided that most of the stories that were produced on foot of the photograph were “humorous” in tone.

Some of those  newspaper articles included printing Mosslmani’s image on a dollar bill, and using his ponytail for a photoshopped game of ‘pin the tail on the donkey’.

The various newspaper pieces “make the point that the plaintiff’s striking mullet haircut has generated a great deal of interest on the internet, most of it humorous, and some of it in the form of clever observations, such as the ‘Pythagoras’ direction  in one of the memes”, Judge Gibson said.

The only claim made by Mosslmani that the judge has allowed is one that states the implication was given that “he is a ridiculous person because he wears a controversial haircut”.

Both sides of the dispute will return to court on 17 November for a further preliminary hearing.

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