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Former Mr. Gay World Slapped With Gag Order Over Comments

Louw Breytenbach

The Mr. Gay World Foundation is demanding Louw Breytenbach retract statements about the organization. 

@wgacooper

Pageant organizers have hit former Mr. Gay World winner Louw Breytenbach with a gag order after Breytenbach made comments against the organization behind the pageant last year.

Breytenbach has hired an attorney after he said he was served with the order last week, according to South African newspaper The Citizen.

Mr. Gay World Foundation, the group behind the pageant, wants Breytenbach to retract the statements he made.

Breytenbach, however, accuses the foundation of attempting to make his publicist, Gavin Prins, retract a press release about the situation that Prins had sent to his media contact list.

The two are represented by Quintin Steyn as they attempt to fight the order.

"I can hereby confirm that the Mr. Gay World Foundation has served my clients, former Mr. Gay World Louw Breytenbach and his publicist, Gavin Prins with an interdict application to seek a court order to have both retract and apologize in public for alleged defamatory statements made in the media. I can confirm that we have submitted our supplementary affidavit on behalf of Breytenbach and Prins," Steyn said in a statement, according to The Citizen.

"I took on this case as I believe in the promotion of the LGBTQIA+ community and its growth. When politics are brought into the promotion of the community, it is not very healthy. It is important for the younger generation to promote a culture of acceptance," Steyn added.

"The reason I entered the Mr. Gay SA and Mr. Gay World competitions respectively, was never about the title. I am passionate about charity, the work I started even before the competitions," Breytenbach said in a statement. "My intention was to use the platform to add a voice to the lgbtqia+ community, the Gates of Hope as well as Future Step. As winners, we tend to be blinded by the glitz and glam the contest brings."

He continued that his resignation as Mr. Gay World wasn't "to tarnish the reputation of the organization, but rather because of value differences."

"I was excited when I was crowned with lots of plans to build the gay community. But unfortunately, I could not achieve this dream," Breytenbach explained.

Breytenbach, 31, won the competition in October, but the South African human rights activist and tv presenter refused to sign the final contract to be Mr. Gay World, The Citizen reported at the time.

The central issue was that whoever is Mr. Gay World must use the organization as his exclusive agent for bookings and acting roles, reported the paper.

"I don't need them to manage whatever TV opportunities I get. My suggestion was that they manage me based on opportunities pertaining to the pageant and my role as Mr. Gay World," he said.

Breytenbach also claimed there was remuneration mentioned in the original contract, but not in later amended ones. He said the contract was vague.

If Breytenbach left the pageant, there would be about a $5,640 penalty. "This penalty is unlawful. What if they are in breach of contract, should I still pay the penalty? This does not make sense," Breytenbach said.

He continued that he was also concerned with the group's "inability to be audited when they refused to divulge how funds are used for the Mr. Gay World Foundation."

"I think it is my right to know what happens to [the] money that I raise for the organization in my capacity as Mr. Gay World. Who is benefiting from all of [these] sponsorships?" he asked.

In response, Mr. Gay World organizers provided a statement to The Citizen rebuking Breytenbach's claims. The group said that those claims include "a series of defamatory allegations about the organization and its officials."

After Breytenbach resigned, the title passed to Bonginkosi Ndima. He also shortly resigned after taking the title.

@wgacooper
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