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Fake sex video vexes Shamfa

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe presents new chairman of the Tourism Trinidad Limited board Janelle Penny Commissioning with her instrument of appointment during the installation ceremony at the International Waterfront Centre, Port-of-Spain, on Wednesday. PICTURE SHIRLEY BAHADUR

Tobago West Member of Parliament and Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe says she is disappointed and disheartened at an alleged attempt by her political opponents to tarnish her reputation on social media.She was referring to an incident in which a sex video with her face super imposed on it was posted on social media pages allegedly linked to the Opposition. Taking to Facebook on Tuesday to express disgust over the incident, Cudjoe said the act was an effort to sully her character. She said despite being asked to leave the matter alone, she was not prepared to remain silent as the act was unfortunate, wicked, vile and inhumane.

“It appears that my political opponents know no limits. They have stooped to an all-time low by attaching my picture to pornographic material depicting a young lady unknown to me, and who is clearly not me. I cannot fathom how on God’s earth, anyone do that! I here strongly condemn the sick person who would have done this and as well, any and everyone who would knowingly take pleasure in endorsing, circulating and rejoicing in this malignant plot,” she wrote.

Describing herself as a strong, independent woman, she said she had spent the past 35 years building her life, career and sound reputation.

“I am a woman, a young professional and a human being. I am somebody’s daughter, sister, aunt, among the many other hats that I wear. My good name is all that I have, and I must protect and defend my good name to the hilt. The action(s) of the perpetrator(s) are to be condemned and have been reported to the Police Cyber Crime Unit and other relevant agencies for their urgent attention and investigation,” she said.

Investigations revealed the woman in the video is an African lawyer who was recently involved in a blackmail scandal in which a sex video was released online after she refused to co-operate with her blackmailer.

The incident has generated several debates, with many standing in solidarity with Cudjoe.

The PNM Tobago West Women’s League condemned the action by the alleged perpetrators.

“The PNM Tobago West Women’s League stands in solidarity with our Member of Parliament for Tobago West, Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe, in her vehement condemnation of the salacious cyber attack against her character. While it is difficult to find words potent enough to describe the type of personalities that would even contemplate and further execute such an atrocity, we believe despicable, insecure, desperate and intimidated may be a good start,” a release from the body said.

Highlighting the contributions made by women in leadership, the organisation called on the population to be responsible when using technology.

PDP Candidate for Providence/Mason Hall and Moriah in the 2017 THA elections, Melanie Roberts, added her voice in a Facebook post. She said it was her duty as a woman and a human being to stand up and speak out against the act.

“I stand up bravely and boldly and renounce the actions of any and all directly and indirectly involved in defaming and attempting to shame the Government Minister! I stand not only with her, but with all women who have had to incur the mischief and hurt of a criminal and demonic few. At this point I care not about political differences. I care only that we exist in a culture that ostracises, disrespects and sexualises women. I care only that this criminal and cowardly act is swiftly punished! I care that women perpetuate this type of behaviour against other women. I care because I too am a woman!” Roberts said.