Boy who went viral after being bullied for dwarfism sues columnist over ‘scam’ tweets

Quaden Bayles, who drew global attention after he was bullied for his dwarfism initiated legal action against a newspaper columnist after she alleged he had faked his distress in a video which went viral.

His mother, Yarraka Bayles, said she had posted the clip to raise awareness.

After the viral clip an online campaign was set up by a US comedian Brad William who had the same dwarfism condition of Achondroplasia to send Quaden on a trip to Disneyland.

It attracted celebrity support and raised more than US$ 216,000 within days. The Bayles later pledged to give all the money to charity.

Australian columnist Miranda Devine suggested it was a “scam” over subsequent donations.

She had retweeted one conspiracy theory to her 70,000 followers. She added a comment: “That’s really rotten if this was a scam. Hurts genuine bullying victims.”

She alleged that Quaden’s mother had been “coaching the kid to say those things that no nine-year-old would say”.

In the confronting six-minute video that originally went viral, Quaden’s mother describes the relentless bullying experienced by her son every day. The family, who are Aboriginal Australian, live in Queensland.

The family filed a defamation lawsuit against Devine and her employer, News Corp Australia

News Corp Australia in March declined to apologise over Devine’s tweets.