Female Sports Reporter Files Libel Case
(yWeekend) Female Soccer Reporter Opposes "Mental Rape." By Zhang Zhengwei. May 7, 2009.
"I am the 'top reporter who follows the national team' that Huang Jiaxiang says had an 'extra-uterine pregnancy." The plaintiff Lu You said that she was an 'alien being' in soccer and therefore she is paying a heavy price. Even if she wins this lawsuit, she will never get rid of the 'extra-uterine pregnancy' label. As a result, her current and future life will necessarily be different. As defendant, Huang Jiaxiang declined to be interviewed by our reporter. He said, "When you have reason on your side, you don't have to talk loud; just because you maintain silence does not mean that you did something wrong."
On June 6, 2008, Huang Jianxiang published a blog post titled <Let us say the ugly things up front>. The blog post said that former Chinese National Soccer Team trainer Ratomir Dujkovic had caused a certain 'top reporter who follows the national team' to 'have an extra-uterine pregnancy.' Subsequently, Lu You took Huang Jiaxiang to court because she said that she was the person mentioned. Suddenly, this story that was only peripherally related to soccer became a red-hot topic. At present, the principals are waiting for the court to render the final verdict.
Lu You told the yWeekend reporter that her ultimate regret was that the case was not being heard in public.
During the two court hearings, Huang Jianxiang did not show up. Lu You said that Huang did not appear because he could not deal with certain sensitive questions. "The judge asked about when Huang Jianxiang learned about the 'extrauterine pregnancy'? Where did he hear about it? His representative lawyer kept saying 'I don't know' so that the judge cannot keep pursuing. If Huang Jianxiang had shown up in court himself, could he have given such responses?"
Lu You was calm when she spoke about Huang Jianxiang. She said that Huang is an excellent sports commentator. "He was married twice and has two daughters. He ought to know how to love. Someday his daughters will be adults. If someone says the same thing about his daughter, he would fight for her with his life." At the persistent questioning by the reporter, Lu You suddenly remembered her one and only contact with Huang Jianxiang. "Late one night, Huang Jianxiang came out of the commentators' box. I had just finished editing some filem. He saw my shoes and remarked that they were 'embroidered shoes.' We did not have any contact before or after."
On June 6, 2008, Huang Jianxiang published his blog post <Let us say the ugly things up front." At the time, Lu You was covering the European Cup in Vienna. A colleague sent her a screen capture. "I had not seen the original blog post. At the time, my mind blanked out. Why me? I shivered for 30 minutes. I ask a photographer friend for a cigarette but I was unable to light it up. After thirty minutes, I calmed down. I attended the lunch meeting for the reporting team." Lu You said that at the time she had realized there were tremendous commercial interests involved behind that essay. June 6 was the day before a critical game for the Chinese National Team in the qualification rounds for the World Cup. If they lose that game, their chances to qualify are slim. June 6 was also two days before the opening of the European Cup. "Huang Jianxiang chose that moment to publish that essay because he wanted to find a subject to draw public attention. My 'extra-uterine pregnancy' was such a topic." Lu You said.
"I noticed you at the first press conference because you keep smiling." During this interview, Lu You spontaneously brought up Dujkovic's first impression of her.
According to Huang Jianxiang's blog post, Dujkovic is the principal who caused the 'extra-uterine pregnancy'. Lu You had no problem talking about Dujkovic during this interview. "His first one-on-one interview in China was with me. It is nothing unusual for the national team's trainer to be on good terms with the top sports reporter following the team? I do not have to curry favor with Dujkovic and I do not have to give the impression of being weak. This is because my media outlet is sufficient strong that I do not need to use special means to obtain exclusive reports. I am challenging the so-called 'hidden rules'."
Lu You said that over the several years that she was never personal friends with any of the national team trainers, coaches or players over the several years that she has been covering the team. She has never gone out with them to bars or other entertainment. "Among the reporters on <Soccer Tonight> there are several reporters who cover the national team. But none of them have the language skills to communicate with Dujkovic." Lu You said that the blog incident, she has tried to avoid contact with Dujkovic. "I would like to see this lawsuit end up in clearing his name, because he has suffered in this incident."
Lu You said several times that she is an alien being in the field of soccer. Ever since she began work as a reporter, she knew that she was different. In 2004 she was reporting on the Asia Cup and she strolled on the Fragrant River training camp field in embroidered shoes; although fans and experts rained curses on Chinese soccer, she kept saying that things were fine. She said that there was no need for her to give an extra kick at the bad things, because some things are still good in Chinese soccer and besides, soccer is meant to be fun and joyous. At the press conferences, the other reporters have nothing to ask but she is always the first one to raise her hand to ask questions ... Lu You said that as an alien, she knew that she had to pay a price but she never thought that it would be so painful.
After the second trial, this reporter asked Lu You for an interview. She agreed because she said that continued silence means that Huang Jianxiang will continue to mislead netizens, the soccer fans will curse her and public opinion will be lopsided against her.
"I don't care if people say that I want to promote myself or to make money. After this, I just might write a book with the title <Scandal> and all those people who are cursing on the Internet are my co-editors/co-authors. The shameful part is not about any 'extra-uterine pregnancy." No matter whether Huang Jianxiang was right or wrong, your participation and dissemination are shameful because you are trampling on the privacy of other people." Lu You is not afraid of hearing the words "extra-uterine pregnancy" right now. Even if she won this lawsuit, her name with be forever linked with "extra-uterine pregnancy" and her life is destined to be changed.
In order to sue Huang Jianxiang, Lu You had to produce proof about her "extra-uterine pregnancy" and "top reporter following the national team" in order to establish that she was the person that Huang Jianxiang was referring to in his essay. At the second trial, CCTV workers testified in court that she was "the top reporter following the national team." Lu You also provided evidence that she had "extra-uterine pregnancy" at the first trial. After she came out of court, Lu You broke her silence and was interviewed by many different media outlets. She also called her mother.
"The phone call lasted for one minute. At first, I was very happy. But my mother said 'I just went to visit the graves of my parents and ask them to protect you'. I immediately hung up the telephone. I could not stand the sadness." When she mentioned this incident during the interview, she almost could not control herself. She said that she can deal with all the curses on the Internet, but she always weakens before her family and friends. Lu You had promised her mother that she will form a good romantic relationship before the Beijing Olympics and then bring the boyfriend home this spring. "But what my mother got instead was a lawsuit."
Lu You said that she felt the worst on the night of the court hearing when all her grief came out in the open. "That night, I received a short message of consolation from a good friend. At the time, I was changing the white bed sheet and blanket covers. As I made the change, I was crying because I had the sense of being soiled. I opened my closet and realized that I had purchased many white shirts and clothes after the incident and that indicated my state of mind . Some day if I have to float on a river formed by saliva, I would bring a white bed." On the day of the interview, Lu You wore a Chinese-style jacket and a white cotton t-shirt underneath.
Ever since the lawsuit began, Lu You has been in a state of "semi-rest." She had very little work to do. When she has time, she would sit in the coffee shop in the park, order a beer and read for four to five hours. "When I feel bad, I would look at the lake in front of me and the blue sky faraway. Then I feel a little bit better." Then she pointed to the lake and said, "If I did not handle myself so well, I would probably be under the lake by now."
Over the last six months, Lu You has been reading biographies, watching performances and attending concerts. "I can cry with the principals in other people's worlds." These were the best outlets for Lu You to release her emotions. But at the same time, there were embarrassments at some performances to the point where she wanted to start a fight.
On the Sunday before the court hearing, Lu You heard that there was a skit show by young people at the Chinese Media University. She invited many friends to attend, because she did not want them to be worried about her. "I thought about the possibility that they might mention me in the skit, but I thought that it was unlikely. But when the performance began, they listed my lawsuit against Huang Jianxiang alongside the snow storms, the earthquake and sexy photo gate as the events of 2008." Lu You said that while she wanted to assuage her friends at first, she ended up laughing with them while they could only helplessly pat her on the shoulders.
"Can I pick a fight with everyone in the world? No. I have just become an entertainment consumption item. I think I have the right to speak from the audience 'Please stop insulting me' but I did not do that at the time. I don't think that they were wrong. 90% of the world thinks that Huang Jianxiang was telling the truth. Huang Jianxiang was the one who did wrong and he is the only one that I can sue." Lu You said that on the day of the second trial, the subject of compensation for mental anguish came up. She did not cry and complain to the judge. She did not describe her mental hurt. She only retold the story about this performance.
"Can you imagine that I was forced to buy a car because of this lawsuit?" Lu You said that if it were not for this lawsuit, she would continue to take the subway to go to work. After the first trial in December 2008, the media was blanketed with coverage of this lawsuit. Lu You used to be known only in the circle of soccer, but now she became a popular subject of discussion everywhere. She never imagined being recognized in a subway, but this actually happened.
Like always, Lu You was standing and holding a railing in the subway car. A man was reading a newspaper. A few minutes later, he began to size up Lu You and then he asked, "Are you Lu You? With whom did you have that 'extra-uterine pregnancy'?" This chilled Lu You to the bottom of her heart. She left the car as quickly as possible. Shortly afterwards, she bought her own car.
"If it weren't for this lawsuit, people won't know about me and the media photographers would not be filming me. I could be very free. But the lawsuit turned me into this. I am a mere reporter. A reporter should not the main character of a news story." Lu You was somewhat excited. "This is mental rape. The whole society is peeking into my uterine. What gives you that right? Is mental rape loftier than physical rape?" Lu You said that the roar from Huang Jianxiang in 2006 turned him into an avant-garde figure in the fashion industry with the help of Internet packaging and media hype. Nobody complained about him "soiling the ears of everybody." In 2008, Huang Jianxiang crossed path with Lu You. "If I don't stand up now, there will be more victims in the future."
Compared to his high profile during the first trial, Huang Jianxiang has turned down all media interview requests after the second trial. In discussing the case, he has only said "I hope that the hearing will be held in open court."
Many people have the same question: Why did Huang Jianxiang say in his June 6 blog post that Dujkovic caused the "top reporter following the national team" to have an "extra-uterine pregnancy"? Is Lu You's speculation during the interview the real motive for Huang Jianxiang? This reporter attempted to interview Huang Jianxiang, but he turned the request down through his secretary.
On 8:30am, May 4, this reporter called Huang Jianxiang. The phone call was forwarded to his secretary Wang Xixi.
The reporter told Wang that "Lu You has been interviewed by us. In order to have a balanced report, we would like Huang Jianxiang to express his point of view on the case." Wang asked us about the date and time length of Lu You's interview. She promised to speak to Huang Jianxiang that morning, but Huang will be the one to make the decision.
At 9:52, the reporter received a short message from Wang that Huang Jianxiang had two live broadcasts to do and therefore has no time. She then sent another message to say Huang Jianxiang does not "want to hold any discussions outside of the courtroom." The short message also said: "This is respect for the judiciary. Since this is now a legal case, the principals has no more reason to speak to the media. When you have reason on your side, you don't have to talk loud; just because you maintain silence does not mean that you did something wrong. Otherwise, why bother with a lawsuit? You might as well as hold a press conference every day to make accusations. The premise that is that you must know the law in order to obey the law. Any illegal talk will be be held accountable in the end."