Incoming first lady Melania Trump has reportedly threatened to file a lawsuit against the individual who on Nov. 11 posted a video to YouTube asking, “Is Barron Trump autistic?”
As reported by TMZ, Melania has hired attorney Charles J. Harder, who in turn has sent the video’s producer a letter demanding that he remove the film from YouTube and issue an immediate apology to avoid a lawsuit.
By Tuesday morning, the video still remained on YouTube, though its young creator James Hunter had issued a comment informing his followers that he intended to follow through on Harder’s instructions.
“I’ve been in contact with Melania Trump’s lawyer,” he wrote. “This video will be deleted in 24 hours and I will publish a full retraction and apology to Melania and Barron Trump.”
Speaking with Gossip Cop, Hunter claimed that he “never meant to hurt” the Trump family and “just wanted to bring light to the autism epidemic,” as he himself happened to be autistic.
“I was just sending it privately to people who were bullying him to explain to them that Barron might be autistic, and that it isn’t okay to bully him for it, because I know what it’s like to be bullied for being autistic,” he continued. “But then Rosie O’Donnell shared it and it blew up.”
Snopes has confirmed the veracity of the latter claim, noting that O’Donnell linked to Hunter’s videoon Nov. 22., causing it to quickly go viral across the Web.
“Barron Trump autistic?” she tweeted at the time. “If so — what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic.”
Many, including Melania Trump, have since accused O’Donnell and others of having used the video to bully Barron Trump, though again this was reportedly not the video maker’s intent.
As someone who also suffers from autism (Asperger syndrome, to be precise), I personally hope that Melania Trump fulfills her promise to let James Hunter off the hook if and when he removes the video and apologizes — which he ought to do sooner rather than later.
As for Rosie O’Donnell, she as a 54-year-old should have known better.