UPDATE 11/29 4:28 p.m. ET: In a statement to Us Weekly, Melania Trump‘s lawyer Charles J. Harder says, “The video regarding Barron Trump has been removed, and the person who posted it has retracted it and apologized for it, at the same YouTube page.”
UPDATE 11/28 8:48 p.m. ET: The YouTube user who posted the original video speculating that Barron Trump may be autistic is going to remove the video and issue an apology. “I’ve been in contact with Melania Trump‘s lawyer,” YouTube user James Hunter shared Monday evening. “This video will be deleted in 24 hours and I will publish a full retraction and apology to Melania and Barron Trump.” Hunter also revealed via his YouTube page that he meant no harm towards Barron and that he personally suffers from autism.
“I never ever meant this as a bullying video,” Hunter wrote. “As someone who was diagnosed at age 5 and has gone through bullying myself, I would NEVER do something like that. I made this because I truly believed Barron was on the spectrum, and I wanted people to stop bullying him over his ‘weird’ behavior and explain to them that it might actually be due to a condition. … I have a great respect for [Melania] and her family. I never meant to hurt anyone.”
Original story continues below
Melania Trump is threatening to sue over the YouTube video that suggests her son, Barron Trump, may be autistic. In a statement to Us Weekly, Melania’s lawyer Charles J. Harder says the video is a form of harassment and bullying.
“This law firm represents First Lady–elect Melania Trump and her 10-year-old son, Barron Trump. A video was posted at YouTube recently speculating that Barron might be autistic. He is not,” Harder of Harder Mirell & Abrams LLP in Los Angeles tells Us of the seven-minute video, which features footage of Barron from various moments throughout the campaign.
“The video includes the hashtag ‘StopTheBullying’ but yet the video itself is bullying by making false statements and speculation about a 10-year-old boy for the purpose of harassing him and his parents,” Harder continues. “The online bullying of children, including Barron Trump, should end now.”
According to TMZ, the law firm also mentioned Rosie O’Donnell in a letter regarding the video, which was shared by the comedian via Twitter November 21. As previously reported, O’Donnell, who has a contentious history with President-elect Donald Trump, tweeted, “Barron Trump Autistic? If so — what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic,” along with a link to the clip.
After facing backlash online, O’Donnell clarified on her website that she didn’t mean any ill will toward the child and that her own 3-year-old daughter, Dakota, was diagnosed with high-functioning autism this past September. O’Donnell wrote that she only shared the video thinking that if it were true, then it “would help so much with the autism epidemic.”
According to the letter obtained by TMZ, Melania isn’t threatening O’Donnell with a lawsuit; Harder wants the YouTube user who posted the original video to delete it and apologize.