Melania Trump threatened to sue a YouTuber named James Hunter for suggesting that her son, Barron Trump, may have autism, TMZ reported. The YouTuber felt he had no other choice but to apologize and remove the video as the first lady-elect requested.
The man behind the video claimed that he was diagnosed with autism at the age of 5 and he saw several warning signs in Barron’s behavior. Now, he says that he “misread” the symptoms and it could have been as simple as Donald Trump’s youngest son was “overtired.”
“It was incredibly irresponsible of me to diagnose Barron Trump using a selection of misleading videos. I falsely correlated him trying to stay awake and occasionally doing quirky things, with him suffering from autism,” the YouTuber stated.
Melania hired the high-powered attorney Charles Harder to send a threatening letter to the YouTuber, in hopes to get the video taken down. She threatened to sue him and accused him of bullying her child. Whatever his reasons were for deleting the video, it is no longer available for viewing on YouTube.
The YouTuber admitted that the video was “false, defamatory, and malicious,” even if his original intent was not to poke fun at Barron Trump. Mrs. Trump believes that no one should say anything ill of her child, and will be starting Donald’s presidential term with a huge statement. Trump basically told the media that any false or misleading statements about her son would not be tolerated and she will sue you if you cross the line.
Melania Trump’s attorney told Us Weekly, “The video regarding Barron Trump has been removed, and the person who posted it has retracted it and apologized for it, on the same YouTube page.”
The YouTuber said that his intent was not to bully Barron but to bring up the subject as he saw a few symptoms that could be related to autism. Now, the man behind the YouTube account says that he “had no right to speculate,” and apologized to the Trump family for his hurtful remarks.
“As someone who was diagnosed at age 5 and has gone through bullying myself, I would NEVER do something like that. I made this because I truly believed Barron was on the spectrum, and I wanted people to stop bullying him over his ‘weird’ behavior and explain to them that it might actually be due to a condition…. I have a great respect for [Melania] and her family. I never meant to hurt anyone.”
Melania maintains that Barron Trump does not have autism and is a normal 10-year-old boy. The video spoke of a moment when Donald Trump gave his victory speech on November 9, 2016. Barron reacted as many kids his age would, sleepy and tired because it was 3 a.m.
Rosie O’Donnell shared the video on Twitter on November 21 and called for Donald Trump to bring awareness to autism if his son has the disorder. The letter to the YouTuber mentioned Rosie O’Donnell but did not threaten the comedian with a lawsuit over her comments.
After Rosie had faced fan backlash, O’Donnell clarified that she didn’t mean to assume that Barron had autism and added that her 3-year-old daughter, Dakota, was diagnosed with high-functioning autism a few months ago. She added that she only shared the video because, if true, his influence would “do so much for autism awareness.”
Many people are conflicted about how they feel about Melania’s reaction. Her first reaction was to silence the YouTuber, and if that didn’t work, she planned to sue him.
What do you think about Melania Trump threatening to sue the YouTuber over the suggestion that Barron could have autism?
[Featured Image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Time]