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Republican politician Robby Starbuck given legal warning over ‘desperate’ attack on Megan Fox’s kids

Former GOP congressional candidate launched into claims of ‘child abuse’ after sharing photo of Megan Fox and her three sons

Meredith Clark
New York
Wednesday 14 June 2023 17:57 BST
Megan Fox talks about how son is mocked for wearing dresses to school

Republican politician Robby Starbuck has been threatened with legal action after he used an unapproved paparazzi photo of actor Megan Fox and her children to launch into claims of “child abuse”.

According to TMZ, photo agency Backgrid sent the former GOP congressional candidate a legal letter on Tuesday (13 June), accusing him of infringing on their copyright to the picture of Megan Fox and her three sons – Noah, 10, Bodhi, nine and Journey, six. The image showed Fox’s eldest son Noah wearing a pink long-sleeved T-shirt and tie-dye shorts, while Bodhi and Journey were dressed in dark T-shirts and trousers.

Starbuck tweeted the paparazzi photo on 8 June, alongside claims that the Transformers star “forced” her sons “to wear girls clothes” in an act of “pure child abuse”. Fox then clapped back at Starbuck’s claims of “child abuse” when she posted a screenshot of his tweet to Instagram, referring to him as a “clout chaser” and “desperate” to “acquire wealth, power, success or fame” in the caption.

In the legal letter obtained by TMZ, Backgrid claimed that Starbuck did not purchase or license their photo before he published it on Twitter. The photo agency maintained that the image was not within “fair use”, in which third parties are allowed to use copyrighted works without permission in certain limited circumstances.

Backgrid also argued that Starbuck cannot claim his use of the photo was for political purposes. The letter read: “While historically not always the case, we expect those who hope to serve as our elected representatives to lead by example and fully comply with federal law. Today, we demand you do so.”

It’s unclear whether Backgrid is seeking monetary compensation after Starbuck used their photo.

The Independent has contacted Backgrid for comment.

Last week, Robby Starbuck – who ran in the Republican primary for Tennessee’s fifth district in 2022 – claimed that he saw two of Megan Fox’s sons “have a full on breakdown” after they were “forced by their mom to wear girls clothes”.

“These are Megan Fox’s sons. We used to live in the same gated community and our kids played at the park,” Starbuck captioned the tweet. “I saw two of them have a full on breakdown saying they were forced by their mom to wear girls clothes as their nanny tried to console them. It’s pure child abuse. Pray for them.”

Megan Fox then responded to Robby Starbuck on Instagram, writing: “Hey @robbystarbuck I really don’t want to give you this attention because clearly you’re a clout chaser. But let me teach you something.”

“Irregardless [sic] of how desperate you may have become at any given time to acquire wealth, power, success or fame – never use children as leverage or social currency. Especially under malevolent and erroneous pretense,” the mother-of-three said.

“Exploiting my child’s gender identity to gain attention in your political campaign has put you on the wrong side of the universe,” the Jennifer’s Body star added. “I have been burned at the stake by insecure, narcissistic, impotent little men like you many times and yet I’m still here. You f***ed with the wrong witch.”

Megan Fox’s ex-husband and the father of her three children, Brian Austin Green, has also come to his ex-wife’s defense. In a statement to TMZ, the 49-year-old actor denied Robby Starbuck’s claims that he saw Fox’s children “have a full on breakdown” and his allegations of child abuse.

“It’s a totally bogus story,” Green told TMZ. “There are only a few people in their world that can actually verify wether [sic] or not a story like this is true and I can tell you with absolute certainty it is not. This person trying to claim this is true is a perfect example of someone with selfish motives that does not care about negatively affecting a parent child relationship.”

The Beverly Hills, 90210 alumadded: “As a society I hope we continue to push to be better. This Robby Starbuck person is full of s***, and I have no idea who he is.”

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