March 13 (UPI) -- Richard Simmons was ordered to pay $130,000 in legal fees to attorneys for the National Enquirer and Radar after his defamation lawsuit against the publications was thrown out of court.
The decision comes after Simmons sued the National Enquirer and Radar last year for publishing stories that claimed Simmons had withdrawn from public life to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
Although Simmons said the allegations were false and were made by a disgruntled former employee, Keosian threw the case out on grounds that calling somebody trangender doesn't necessarily defame that person.
"This court finds that because courts have long held that a misidentification of certain immutable characteristics do not naturally tend to injure one's reputation, even if there is a sizeable portion of the population who hold prejudices against those characteristics, misidentification of a person as transgender is not actionable defamation absent special damages," Keosian wrote in a Sept. 1 ruling.
Simmons is appealing the dismissal.