A legal fight is brewing between a popular Australian Instagram personality and a YouTube 'diet guru' famous for eating up to 51 bananas a day.
Adelaide personal trainer Kayla Itsines, 23, her partner Tobias Pearce and company Bikini Body Training Company Pty Ltd have lodged an injunction at the South Australian Supreme Court over remarks posted online by social media personalities Freelee the Banana Girl and Durianrider that Ms Itsines alleged were defamatory.
Ms Itsines, 23, is behind the program Bikini Body Guide and has more than 2.3 million followers on Instagram. Freelee and Durianrider describe themselves as being behind the 'busiest raw vegan and vegan' website online, 30bananasaday, and post to a YouTube account with more than 330,000 subscribers.
The case is listed for hearing before Judge Withers on March 23.
Kayla v Freelee: Instagram personality Kayla Itsines (left) is taking legal action against Freelee The Banana Girl (right) over alleged defamation
Popular Instagram personality and personal trainer Kayla Itsines (pictured) is responsible for the Bikini Body Challenge
In a fiery Facebook post addressed to her 1.3 million followers, Ms Itsines said she was pursuing court action because of 'false claims that my partner takes steroids, claims I'm starving myself or other people, claims that I promote anorexia, for abusing the respect of my followers, my family and myself, claims I am starving people, claims I am a fraud.'
'This is wrong and illegal. So I have requested that the content be removed from the internet. After my initial request was denied I had no choice but to continue to protect the safety and reputation of my followers, Tobi and myself from a personal point of view.'
Ms Itsines continued by saying she was 'standing up for myself, friends and family'.
'Statements have been made about me personally and my partner, Tobi, that are defamatory, misleading and deceptive.
Ms Itsines is the powerhouse behind the popular fitness brand, the Bikini Body Guide
'I refuse to watch the people around me suffer. I got into the health and fitness industry to help people.'
Freelee and Durianrider this week uploaded two video messages to their YouTube account calling on Ms Itsines to cease her legal action against them.
'We spoke up and shared our nutritional opinion online and YouTube or Instagram and we're getting taken to court for that,' Durianrider said in one video. 'It's out-f***ing-rageous'.
'It's really disappointing too,' Freelee said: 'We just want to help people, we want to help girls all around the world get out of these eating disorders and actually have a good relationship with food for the first time in their life.'
'That's why we point out the flaws in these programs... The last thing I want to see is women fall into these traps and become unhealthy.'
'We're just like the couple next door trying to look out for you. That is the highest goal in our life, not money, not to make a s***-ton of money.
'To have us be sued for that is just crazy. We might block some people here and there but so what'.
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