Daily Mail denies trying to force Matrix director to come out as trans woman

Lilly Wachowski said she decided to go public after after journalists ‘threatened public outing against my will’

The Daily Mail has denied that it tried to coerce Matrix director Lilly Wachowski into coming out as a transgender woman.

Wachowski, formerly known as Andy, came out in a statement titled “Sex change shocker – Wachowski brothers now sisters!!!”, given to the Windy City Times.

The 48 year-old has come out four years after her sister and collaborator, Lana Wachowski, revealed she was a transgender woman.

In the statement Wachowski said that she decided to go public after a journalist from the Daily Mail turned up on her doorstep to try and get the story.

Wachowski referred to the approach, and previous approaches by reporters via her agent asking for statements about rumours of her gender transition, as a “threatened public outing against my will”.

DailyMail.com, the US digital version of Mail Online which is separate to the Daily Mail newspaper, said that the encounter did not occur as described by Wachowski in her statement.

“DailyMail.com categorically denies that it in any way tried to coerce Lilly Wachowski into revealing her gender transition,” said a spokesman.

The spokesman said that the publisher’s reporter was “extremely sympathetic and courteous at all times”.

“As Ms Wachowski herself says, we were not the first media organisation to approach her and we made absolutely clear at several points in the conversation that we were only interested in reporting the story if and when she was happy for us to do so and with her cooperation.”

The publisher said it wished Wachowski well with her “journey” but was surprised by her reaction “given the courtesy and sensitivity with which the reporter approached her”.

Wachowski’s lengthy statement referred to the Daily Mail’s “huge part in the national public outing” of Lucy Meadows.

In 2013, the primary school teacher and transgender woman took her life after the Daily Mail published a column by Richard Littlejohn titled “He’s not only in the wrong body … he’s in the wrong job”.

A spokesman for the Daily Mail said the newspaper did not “out or hound” Meadows.

“The story emerged after the school wrote announcing the change to parents, some of whom contacted the local media because they were concerned their children might be too young to understand what had happened,” said the spokesman.

It was reported at the time that a note left by Meadows made no mention of press intrusion, citing instead her debts, a number of bereavements including the death of her parents, and her stressful job as a primary school teacher.

She insisted she was not depressed or mentally ill and thanked her friends, family and colleagues for their support.”

“In the event, it emerged at her inquest that Ms Meadows made no mention either of the press in general or of the Daily Mail in particular in an extensive suicide note,” said the spokesman for the Daily Mail.

Nevertheless, the coroner was insistent that the unwelcome media attention had contributed to her death, telling the press “shame on all of you” while criticising the “sensational and salacious” coverage.

Contributor

Mark Sweney

The GuardianTramp

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