Trinidad Express investigative journalist Denyse Renne has initiated legal action against political blogger Marcia Braveboy for ‘egregious false claims and deliberate inaccuracies’, after an attack on the former’s integrity on social media.
Braveboy, in a direct response to the ‘unmasking’ of Express columnist Darryn Boodan as the corporate communications officer of Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, took to Facebook to even the score on Friday 18 December.
In her blog, ‘Braveboy Report’, Braveboy claimed that ‘the mainstream media in bed with the PNM long time’ and went on to make allegations against a variety of journalists, editors and columnists, including Renne.
Yesterday, OCM attorney Rumeal Peters served Braveboy with a pre-action protocol letter for her troubles, which demanded: ‘an undertaking by your good self, giving assurance that the offending words in relation to my client shall not be repeated; and a full retraction of the offending words and/or the said post and an unqualified and unequivocal public apology to be approved by me on my client’s instructions’.
Braveboy claimed Renne had an ‘inappropriate’ relationship with ex-MP Maxie Cuffie. The journalist retorted that she never so much as met the former minister.
“My client never met with minister Cuffie in person, they communicated by way of telephone and e-mail and their interactions were solely professional,” stated Peters. “My client has detailed records of her communications with the minister. Furthermore, the words mentioned in the publication of the said post in their natural and/or ordinary sense and/or by way of innuendo are defamatory of my client…”
Braveboy was set a deadline of 5pm on 22 December 2020 to apologise on the requested terms—in an amended legal letter today. Renne insisted that she will defend her reputation in the High Court if necessary.
“These egregious false claims and deliberate inaccuracies against me are unfounded, mischievous and malicious,” Renne told Wired868. “I refuse to stand idly by and allow for a continuation of these falsehoods to fester. I have worked damn hard in this profession without compromising my beliefs and integrity.
“At the end of the day, all I have is my integrity and I will jealously guard that.”
Wired868 asked Braveboy to comment on Renne’s legal threat and denial of her social media claims. She said she was advised by legal counsel not to respond.
Peters described Braveboy’s post as an ‘unjustified and unwarranted attack’.
“In these circumstances, the writing and publication of the words complained of amount to an unfair, unjustified and unwarranted attack on my client’s character and has brought her reputation into public scandal, odium and contempt,” he said. “[…] If you fail to publish the apology and retraction, then my client will be constrained to seek recourse through appropriate legal measures.”