Leanne Ratcliffe, known for her love of bananas, and Kayla Itsines, known for her love of bikinis, are two insanely popular health and fitness bloggers.
The Australian businesswomen both have a lot in common: huge social media followings, a commitment to preaching their own distinct approaches to health and fitness, and a fondness for posing in swimwear.
But the duo are currently battling it out in an Adelaide courtroom – with ‘Bikini Girl’ (Kayla Itsines) claiming that ‘Freelee the Banana Girl’ (Leanne Ratcliffe) is spreading lies about her.
Ms Itsines, an Australian Institute of Fitness graduate and the founder of fitness business Bikini Body Guide, has 1.38 million likes on Facebook and more than 2.4 million Instagram followers, while Ms Ratcliffe has more than 77,000 Facebook likes and almost 221,000 YouTube followers.
As Adelaide Now reports, 23-year-old Ms Itsines has accused 34-year-old Ms Ratcliffe, who is famous for eating 51 bananas in a day, of defaming her.
Itsines has alleged that Ratliffe and her partner Harley Johnstone falsely claimed on YouTube that she was starving herself and/or other people.
“This is wrong and illegal,” Ms Itsines wrote in a Facebook post last month. “So I have requested that the content be removed from the internet.”
Bikini Girl had an injunction imposed by the South Australian Supreme Court in February, Daily Mail Australia reports, and another hearing was held yesterday.
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The Adelaide Advertiser reported that more than 100 of Ratcliffe’s supporters appeared and repeatedly chanted ‘carb the f*** up’ – the vlogger’s slogan – prior to a hearing at the court yesterday.
Andrew Harris QC, who represents Itsines and her partner, said in court that his clients had wanted the offending videos taken offline immediately, but that the removal had “only partially occurred” – with only Ms Ratcliffe allegedly removing the contentious videos from her YouTube channel.
But Ms Ratcliffe and her partner have refuted Ms Itsines’ allegations, claiming they’re merely exercising their right to free speech.