Jahmel Binion, 23, suffers from Ectodermal Dysplasia – a condition that causes limited hair growth, missing teeth and facial deformities.
You may recall that in April, Binion became the butt of a cruel joke when basketball players Shaquille O’Neal and Trey Burke along with rapper Waka Flocka Flame mocked his appearance with Instagram selfies.
Shaq posted a picture of himself alongside Binion with the caption “Smile Today" written below:
O’Neal eventually saved face by calling Binion and apologizing to him, but the damage was already done. Images of O’Neal, Burke and Waka Flocka making a joke of Binion's appearance had already circulated around the web.
The Macomb Daily reported on Wednesday that Binion has decided to sue O’Neal, Burke, and Waka Flocka. He is claiming defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and general negligence as a result of the pictures.
“The defendants mocked and ridiculed the plaintiff, a person completely unknown to themselves in public forums where their activity would be widely disseminated,” the lawsuit claims. “The defendants’ communications clearly implied that the plaintiff was an appropriate object of mockery, ridicule and shame” and “had the effect of lowering the plaintiff’s reputation in the eyes of those who respected the views and opinion of the defendants.”
In April, Binion told The Oakland Press that he thought the apologies of O’Neal and the others were forced.
“When they said sorry, I felt like they were saying it to get the pressure off of them for being considered ‘bad people,’” Binion said. “Even though I accept their apology, I still hope that they donate to my cause or other organizations that connect with ectodermal dysplasia.”