Television host Reham Saeed was acquitted of libel, slander and violating an assault victim’s privacy by airing personal photographs of the woman without her permission, the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported Sunday.
The misdemeanor court accepted Saeed’s appeal against a February ruling sentencing her to a year in prison and a LE15,000 fine for violating Somaya Tarek’s privacy, and an additional six months in prison and LE10,000 for libel and slander.
Tarek’s lawyer announced during Saeed’s appeal earlier this month that both parties had reached an agreement and that Tarek was dropping the case, adding that Tarek had sent Saeed the pictures herself and given her permission to broadcast them.
Saeed interviewed Tarek in October on her show Sabaya al-Kheir (Charity Girls), aired on the privately owned Al-Nahar channel, about her assault in a Cairo mall. She insinuated that Tarek’s “revealing” dress might have encouraged the man to harass her. Following the interview, Saeed aired personal photos of Tarek on the beach in a bikini, and others with her holding a bottle of whiskey.
Saeed claimed the director of the show received several pictures of Tarek on WhatsApp and that she was disappointed by what she saw.
The interview prompted a wave of outrage on social media, with users criticizing Saeed using the hashtag #موتي_يا_ريهام (die Reham). The show was suspended by Al-Nahar in the wake of a boycott campaign following the episode, with the channel vowing to conduct an investigation into the incident. After the suspension of the show, #ريهام_ماتت (Reham died) began trending on social media.
Fifteen companies announced they would end their advertising contracts with Sabaya al-Kheir following a strong online boycott campaign calling on all corporations to stop sponsoring the show.
The following month, Al-Nahar announced the program would return to the airwaves with Reham as its host, but would focus on charity cases and would not be sponsored by advertisements.