Lawsuit Over Viral Mullet Haircut
Late last year West Sydney teenager Ali Ziggi Mosslmani was photographed dancing at a party sporting a mullet haircut that has caught the attention of social media and news services in Australia and worldwide. Memes were made, radio personalities proffered their opinions and international tabloids made sport of the extreme hairstyle. Mr Mosslmani is far from amused by the media attention and has launched a lawsuit against Daily Mail Australia, News Corp Australia and the Australian Radio Network in the NSW District Court. Mr Musslmani claimed that the stories presented on these broadcast networks were defamatory as they exposed him to ridicule, claiming that he has been referred to as hideously ugly. Mr Mosslmani has engaged the services of compensation and accident Attorneys to pursue his civil lawsuit.
The image went viral on social media, with over 2 million shares of the photo and countless memes created. Many of the memes mocked Mr Musslmani’s haircut, others placed the haircut in curious juxtaposition with other objects and scenarios.
At the initial hearing the District Court judge Judith Gibson ruled in a preliminary judgement that his statements of claim were overblown saying : “in that the drafting seems to be designed to claim as many imputations as possible while simultaneously avoiding a defence of honest opinion or justification’’.
According to ABC News, the defence barrister for Australian Radio Network listed the following as grounds for dismissal:
The imputations pleaded (at paragraph 3 of the statement of claim) are as follows:
I. That the plaintiff, by reason of permitting himself to be photographed with a mullet hairstyle, has justifiably exposed himself to ridicule by the defendant.
II. That the plaintiff, by reason of permitting himself to be photographed with a mullet hairstyle, has justifiably exposed himself to ridicule by the public.
III. That the plaintiff, by reason of his mullet hairstyle, has justifiably exposed himself to ridicule by the defendant.
IV. That the plaintiff, by reason of his mullet hairstyle, has justifiably exposed himself to ridicule by the public.
V. The plaintiff is a joke.
VI. That the plaintiff is hideously ugly.
VII. The plaintiff is a ridiculous person.
VIII. The plaintiff is a ridiculous person because he wears a ridiculous haircut.
Judge Gibson summarised saying; “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,” and “As a result, the defendants have been successful in nearly all of their objections,”.
Judge Gibson did allow Mr Musslmani to pursue the lawsuit at trial by jury saying,
“The plaintiff is entitled to plead an imputation of condition – namely being a ridiculous person for having such a hairstyle – as well as an imputation amounting to an act. This imputation is reasonably capable of being conveyed and will go to the jury”.
However justice for the mullet will come at a cost to Mr Musslmani as Judge Gibson has ordered him to pay the defendants’ costs in this initial trial.
Mr Musslemani will be expected to produce an amended statement of claim at a further hearing to be conducted next month.
We at Personal Injury Lawyers will be following this case with some interest and will report on further updates as they occur. For all your Compensation Law claims in Melbourne please contact us here: or follow this link https://personal-injury-lawyers.com.au/contact-us/