ICYMI: Liza, Julia, and Catriona prove that having influence means taking a stand

Even during a pandemic, a few select celebrities who were at the receiving end of harassments and false rumors still found a way to fight back, thereby showing that women shouldn’t take things lying down. 

In the past couple of months, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, Julia Barretto, and most recently Liza Soberano all experienced distinct transgressions, and all sought the leverage of the law to make things right.

Catriona Gray sued a tabloid newspaper for “digitally altered” nude photo

Image: GMA News

Local tabloids are known to stoop as low as possible to force readership, but when they released a fake topless photo of Catriona Gray, the former Miss Universe had to put her foot down. 

On July 21, Gray, together with her lawyer Joji Alonso, personally appeared in front of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to seek help in tracking the people behind the fake photos which have since circulated online, as well as to file her legal complaint against the tabloid newspaper. Catriona’s camp also demanded from the same to pay a PhP10 million settlement and to issue a public apology for publishing the illicit image.

Liza Soberano retaliates against netizen’s rape remark

Image from Instagram: @lizasoberano

Liza only wanted to air out her concerns over a certain internet service provider’s performance, so when one of its employees retorted with a rape remark, she knew that things have gone too far.

That’s why on September 24, together with her manager Ogie Diaz and her legal counsel, Jun Lim, the actress filed a criminal complaint to Quezon City Hall of Justice against the one who posted the comment.

“I know that everybody is entitled to their own opinion, that is true, but at some point, you have to be respectful to others online. I want people to learn that there are consequences to everything like rape jokes because that is not a light matter,” Liza said in an interview.

Julia Barretto doesn’t take “untrue and irresponsible” rumors lightly

Image: Manila Bulletin

When rumors about her alleged pregnancy by Gerald Anderson was posted on Jay Sonza’s Facebook page, Julia Barretto didn’t just dismiss it as any other actress would. She took another step and went to the NBI Cybercrime Division on September 25 to file a cyber-libel complaint against the former broadcaster.

While Sonza already retracted and apologized for his statement, Julia remains firm in pursuing the case. 

“I am pursuing this case because the statements made by Mr. Sonza are untrue and irresponsible. The widespread reposting of the news based on his post caused distress to me and my family. I don’t want to take this matter lightly. Mr. Sonza, and all those who publish these reckless and baseless posts, must be held accountable for their actions so that they think twice before claiming things as fact.” Barretto says.

Influence put to good use

More than teaching these delinquents a lesson, these female celebrities also taught the rest of us how female celebrities with a sizable influence must use it for the greater good of other women.

And we’re not just talking about pushing back on social media against hecklers and harassers; we’re also talking about shedding light on legal recourses women can take when slighted by the same, whoever they may come from.


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