More Vietnam newswires sued for prostitution allegations

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A Vietnamese beauty queen has filed lawsuits against two more news websites for publishing articles accusing her of working as a high-class prostitute.

In her petition, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Nhung, 27, asked the websites www.nguoiduatin.vn, managed by the Doi Song va Phap Luat (Life and Law) newspaper, and diendan.phununet.com, owned by Vietnam Online Group Joint-stock Company to publish a correction and apology to her.

She also demanded that each of them pay her VND20 million (US$950) in compensation, said a representative of the Phu Nhuan District People's Court in Ho Chi Minh City, where she filed the lawsuits.

According to Nhung, who was named the runner-up at a pageant held by the Thai-owned Race Bike Magazine in 2009, the nguoiduatin.vn published a two-page article on June 8 about a beauty queen referred to as T.N working as a prostitute and charging US$8,000 each time for her service.

The article also published her photo and career details, she said.

One day before, on June 7, diendan.phununet.com also published a series of Nhung's photos with a caption reading "Tuyet Nhung: the Race Bike beauty queen working as a prostitute."

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The "baseless" and "wrong" information has "seriously damaged" her prestige, and dignity, said Nhung, who late last month also filed similar lawsuits against two news websites - http://2sao.vn/ and http://www.zing.vn/.

She also demanded those websites pay her VND20 million in compensation each and issue corrections as well as apologies.

However, on Thursday she withdrew the lawsuit against the Zing website after its representative contacted her and promised to accept all of her demands.

In other related news, Le Ngan Khanh, a singer and actress, has refused to withdraw a lawsuit against the website http://kenh14.vn/ for publishing articles implying that she was involved in a high-profile prostitute ring, Lai Van Trinh, chief of District 10 People's Court, told Thanh Nien.

Earlier, in response to Khanh's lawsuit, the news website, managed by the Vietnam Communications Corporation, took down the articles and published an apology to Khanh. But she refused to drop the case, saying that she did not agree with the contents of the apology and correction.

In her petition, Khanh also demanded that the website pay her VND60 million ($2,800) in compensation.

Many local celebrities have been under suspicion of being involved in the high-price prostitution ring, which employed models and beauty queens and was busted last month.

So far four people have been arrested, including suspected ringleader Vo Thi My Xuan, who won the 2009 South Mekong Beauty Pageant.

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