Australia

Clive Palmer: Australia ex-MP threatens YouTuber over 'dense Humpty' video

A billboard ad for Clive Palmer shows him flashing a thumbs up in front of an Australian flag with text reading: "Make Australia Great" Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Clive Palmer is a controversial figure in Australian business and politics

A popular YouTube comedian says he was threatened with legal action by controversial Australian billionaire Clive Palmer over a satirical video.

Friendlyjordies - aka Jordan Shanks - said Mr Palmer had objected to being called a "dense Humpty Dumpty" and a profane nickname that included "Fatty".

The YouTuber told fans that his video had not damaged Mr Palmer's reputation.

Mr Palmer, a mining tycoon and former MP, asked for A$500,000 (£270,000; $340,000) in damages, a letter showed.

His lawyers told the BBC they had sent the cease and desist notice to the comedian in May. They did not respond to queries about whether they would take further action.

Mr Shanks, one of Australia's best-known internet comedians, posted the video before Australia's election in May - when Mr Palmer was seeking to be returned to parliament.

Image copyright FRIENDLYJORDIES
Image caption Friendlyjordies has more than 300,000 followers on YouTube

In the seven-minute rant, he called Mr Palmer several insulting terms, depicted him as Homer Simpson, and at one point superimposed his head on a baby being lifted up by Donald Trump.

Those portrayals had "exacerbated the defamatory nature" of the video, according to the letter sent by Mr Palmer's lawyers.

Mr Shanks argued that he had not defamed Mr Palmer.

"If your overall goal is to escape extreme embarrassment and humiliation, then making it a legal obligation for me to prove you're a [expletive] in court.... has to be the worst possible way to achieve that goal," Mr Shanks told his followers in a video.

A federal lawmaker from 2013-2016, Mr Palmer has been widely criticised for failing to pay wages owed to the workers of one of his collapsed mining businesses.

He launched a failed bid to return to parliament before May's poll, spending an estimated A$60m (£32m; $40m) on his campaign - more than Australia's two major parties combined.

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Media captionWhat do voters think of Clive Palmer?

Mr Shanks, who has over 300,000 YouTube followers, is known for producing humorous videos which criticise conservative Australian politicians and media.

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