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Porn magazine in court after spoof of singer


The screws are being tightened on an Afrikaans sex magazine for publishing an obscene spoof of a wholesome Afrikaans pop and gospel singer.

But the porn mag insists that Juanita du Plessis was just a pawn in its quest to satisfy its readers' tastes.

Du Plessis, a top selling female vocalist who has sold 400 000 albums in the last five years, was granted an urgent court interdict against Afrikaans smut magazine Loslyf earlier in November.

On Tuesday, lawyers for Loslyf filed papers in the Pretoria High Court, arguing for the lifting of the interdict so that the magazine, which features a doctored photograph of the pop star with the caption "Juanita talks of her addiction to oral sex", can go on sale.

According to Du Plessis's record label manager, Pierre van der Westhuizen, the interdict, which led to the November issue of the magazine being removed from the shelves, will pave the way for a defamation suit.

"Juanita's lawyers are working on a claim for damages, but this is not about money, this is to make sure that this sort of thing doesn't happen to other artists," Van der Westhuizen said.

Herman du Plessis, the singer's husband, agreed: "This is about principles. We are Christians and no amount of money will be able to remove the shock when Juanita saw that."

But Eugene Goddard, editor of Loslyf, which sells about 15 000 copies a month, has vowed to fight back. "This is about freedom of speech," he said.

"Juanita fell into our trap. She was used as a pawn to sell more magazines. One would think she would have enough common sense to ignore it. If she wasn't such a morally-upstanding citizen we wouldn't have gone for her in the first place.

"It makes a good spoof because she is the last person one would think of in that way. Her reaction generates publicity and helps us sell magazines. It's just a joke - everybody knows that it's a joke," he said.

Not Van der Westhuizen, though.

"There is nothing funny about this," he said. "They manipulated the front cover of Huisgenoot magazine that Juanita was featured on three months ago and put semen in her mouth. It is in very bad taste."

"If you think of the person they featured as someone you know, you'll understand that this is no joke."

The offending page in which Huisgenoot was renamed "Fuifgenoot", also features crude cover lines about Aussie rugby star Clyde Rathbone, AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche and the mother of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, as well as 10 easy steps on how to pimp one's wife.

Huisgenoot was also not impressed, and is understood to be considering legal action against Loslyf.

But Goddard remains unrepentant.

"It was clearly a parody and if you want to take this magazine seriously, that's your problem. We are within our rights. Come with your big law suits, we'll fight all the way. It's not big talk."


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