Newspaper’s extraordinary claim about Gold Coast fashion queen
A GOLD Coast model and social media influencer is claiming $250,000 in damages after a Sydney newspaper accused her of pretending to be a fashion editor with the same name.
Lauren Kade McCarthy, 20, has launched defamation proceedings against Fairfax in the Southport District Court over an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald on May 19.
It is alleged in court documents that Ms McCarthy was accused of "masquerading as the editor of US publication W" to get into fashion shows during Sydney Fashion Week.
The editor of W magazine is also known as Lauren McCarthy.
The article was accompanied by a photo of the Gold Coast Ms McCarthy, according to court documents.
It is alleged that the article accuses Ms McCarthy of "committing or attempting to commit identify fraud … and gained access to a major event by deceit".
The Benowa Waters model alleges the article also accused her of being an impostor, deceptive and a fraud.
"(Ms McCarthy) has been held up to ridicule and contempt, has been seriously injured in her credit and reputation both in her personal and professional life, has suffered hurt and embarrassment, and has suffered and will continue to suffer loss and damage," it is alleged in the court documents.
A spokesman for the Sydney Morning Herald declined to comment.
Ms McCarthy is the daughter of Pat McCarthy who founded The Perfume Connection in Bundall in 1992.
He and wife Penelope built it to a nationwide chain with 70 stores before selling in 2007 to Escor, a Smorgon-family investment company.
Ms McCarthy's lawyer Brendan Nyst, of Nyst Legal, said the full impact of the article was yet to be seen.
"From her perspective it's a pretty devastating article to have written about her," he said.
Mr Nyst said Ms McCarthy was still beginning her modelling career and was still trying to build contacts in the fashion industry.
"At this stage she is obviously concerned about moving forward," he said.
"It could have a detrimental impact on her career."
Ms McCarthy has more than 14,800 followers on her Instagram account.
The same picture used in the Sydney Morning Herald article is still posted on her account along with other photos of Ms McCarthy, which, according to the captions, were taken at Sydney Fashion Week.
Nyst Legal contacted the Sydney Morning Herald the day after the article was published asking for it to be removed.
It is alleged the newspaper "refused to make any offer of amends" and refused to remove the article from the website.
Ms McCarthy is claiming $250,000 in damages as well an injunction to remove the article from the website.
The Statement of Claim also outlines that she wants "an injunction restraining the further publication of the defamatory imputations outlined".
No application has been made to the court to stop details of the court documents being public.