On the heels of Liza Soberano filing a complaint against a netizen over a rape remark, another celebrity is pursuing legal actions concerning malicious rumors swirling about her on the internet: Julia Barretto was spotted this morning, September 25, at the Cybercrime Division of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to file an official complaint against former broadcaster Jay Sonza.
Accompanied by her mom Marjorie Barretto, Julia has formally filed a cybercrime case against Jay Sonza, stemming from his Facebook post which falsely claimed that the young actress is pregnant with actor Gerald Anderson’s child.
"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,” Julia says in her statement according to a report by Pep.ph. “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."
In addition, the actress told journalist MJ Felipe in a video interview on Twitter that she hopes this decision would finally make people realize the consequences of trying to damage one's reputation online. She laments, "Ang dami ko na ring pinagdaanan, ang dami ko na ring pinalampas lalo na sa social media, binastos na ang reputation ko, ang pangalan ko. I think I just want to show people na hindi ko na pinapalampas yung mga bagay na ganito."
The questioned Facebook post by Jay Sonza, which easily jumpstarted the rumors on Julia’s alleged pregnancy, was published on September 21, 2020. Part of his post read, "After months of love lockdown and ESQ (exact sex quadrant)—may nabuo sa sinapupunan ni Julia."
Both Julia and Gerald have since denied the allegations. The actress, for her part, took to Instagram to shut down the rumors with a photo of herself baring her toned abs, captioned “FAKE NEWS.”