Vietnam singer and actress files defamation suit against newswire

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A Vietnamese singer and actress has filed a lawsuit against a news website for publishing articles implying she was involved in a high-profile prostitute ring busted last month, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Wednesday.

In a petition lodged with the District 10 People's Court, Ho Chi Minh City, Le Ngan Khanh demanded that the Vietnam Communications Corporation, which manages the website http://kenh14.vn/, publish a correction along with an apology and pay her VND60 million (US$2,800) in compensation.

According to Khanh, on June 6, the website reported that Vo Thi My Xuan, who was arrested that same month for running a high-priced prostitution ring employing models and beauty queens, revealed the names of two other sex workers.

One of them was reported under the abbreviated name L.N.K which was the same as her initials, Khanh said, adding that the report also mentioned the suspect's year of birth, hometown, place of residence, and career activities which were all identical to hers.

The next day it published the photo of Khanh's house to illustrate the suspect's house, she said.

The 27-year-old singer and actress asked the website to publicly clarify who the suspect was and if it was her, Tuoi Tre reported.

In case the website was implying Khanh was the suspect, it will have to take down the articles and publish an apology to her, because so far no legal documents have confirmed that Xuan's claims were true, Khanh said.

According to Khanh, following the reports, many people believed that she was involved in the ring, and many of her contracts relating to commercials, films and plays were suspended.

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The reports have badly damaged her prestige and image among agencies and her fans, she said. 

Late last month Nguyen Thi Tuyet Nhung, a 27-year-old beauty queen, also filed lawsuits against two news websites, http://2sao.vn/ and http://www.zing.vn/, for implying that she was involved in the case by mentioning the suspect's abbreviated name that matched her own initials, as also identical career details.

Nhung asked the websites to publish corrections as well as apologies.

She also wanted each website to pay compensation of VND20 million ($945), Tuoi Tre reported.

However, Nhung is withdrawing the lawsuit against the Zing website after its representative contacted her and promised to accept all of her demands, the newspaper quoted Nhung's advocate, lawyer Nguyen Minh Thuan, as saying.

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