Ugly Children Lawsuit Hoax
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Ugly Children Lawsuit Hoax is a fabricated story about a Chinese man who divorced and successfully sued his ex-wife for birthing ugly children. The story began circulating online as early as 2004 and saw a significant resurgence in November of 2013.
According to the hoax investigation website Snopes, a story about a Chinese man named Jian Feng who sued his wife for bearing unattractive offspring was published as early as June 2004, when it was published in the Heilongjiang Morning Post, a newspaper known for publishing urban legends without verification. The article claimed that Feng won a lawsuit against his wife after she confessed to having plastic surgery following the birth of their "ugly baby daughter."
A Chinese man has divorced and sued his wife for £55,000 after discovering she'd had plastic surgery before they met. Jian Feng, 38, was said to have been "horrified" when she gave birth to an ugly baby daughter. He suspected her of having an affair. His wife then confessed to having plastic surgery costing £70,000 in South Korea before they met and showed him a picture of how she used to look. He filed for divorce two years after marrying her following a whirlwind romance. The Heilongjiang Morning Post said Jian successfully sued for deceit.
In 2012, the story became paired with an advertisement for a Taipei-based plastic surgery clinic featuring a studio photograph of a family. The advertisement, which shows two attractive-looking parents and three children with unflatteringly small eyes, was accompanied by the tagline “The only thing you have to worry you about after plastic surgery is the explaining you’ll have to do to your children.”
On May 17th, 2012, the Japanese news blog Rocket News 24 published an article about the advertisement. On October 31st, the Irish Examiner published an article titled "Chinese man sues wife after 'ugly' baby born," which reported that a man named Feng won a $120,000 settlement from suing his wife and featured before and after plastic surgery photographs of the woman (shown below).
In early November 2013, the story resurfaced on several news sites, including The Daily What, the New York Post, The Daily Mail and the Mirror. Some of them believed the story was legit at first, before they were later informed that it was a hoax.
On October 7th, 2015, the identity of the female model in the photograph was revealed as Heidi Yeh, a Taiwanese model who has done TV commercials and advertisements for major companies like KFC and Vaio, after she came out in a press conference with intentions to sue the modeling agency and the plastic surgery clinic for ruining her public image.
On October 29th, BBC reported on the identity of the model depicted in the popular internet hoax, which included quotes from Yeh claiming that she has never had any cosmetic surgery and her career and personal life have been severely damaged by the spread of the meme. According to the lawsuit, Yeh is seeking $5 million Taiwanese dollars ($123,000 USD) in reparation from J Walter Thompson, a U.S.-based international advertising agency that owns the copyright to the photograph, and the plastic surgery center, for allegedly breaching the terms of her contract by allowing another Taipei-based plastic surgery clinic to use her image in an advertisement without her consent.
 Snopes – Ugly Story
 Wayback Machine – Man divorces and sues wife over ugly past
 Rocket News 24 (via Wayback Machine) – Thinking About Plastic Surgery?
 The Daily What – Crazy Lawsuit of the Day
 New York Post – Man sues wife after she gives him ugly baby
 Daily Mail – Chinese Man Sues Wife for Being Ugly
 Mirror – Pretty harsh – mans sues wife for being ugly
 BBC – 'Can't hide it forever': The model who became a meme
 Independent – Taiwanese model who became a meme claims modelling career was ruined after image went viral
Dec 04, 2013 at 12:29PM EST
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