Petra Laszlo – ring a bell? If yes, that’s because this isn’t her first go-round with international headlines.
The Hungarian TV camerawoman became infamous for kicking two refugee children and tripping up a man sprinting with a child in his arms. The scene on the Serbian border was caught on film and went viral, sparking global outrage. Laszlo has since faced battles in both the courtroom and in the court of public opinion.
In addition to charges of “violence against a member of the community”, which is punishable by up to five years in prison, a “Wall of Shame” page on Facebook dedicated to Laszlo has generated over 10,000 likes. Truthfully, the buzz over the incident has settled down since early September. The public has moved their anger elsewhere and Laszlo has been relatively left alone to deal with her legal troubles out of the spotlight.
Laszlo, however, must be missing the attention. We can overlook that she plans to file suit against Facebook for failing to remove from the social media network the numerous threatening messages directed towards her. That’s not all though. She announced to Russian news outlet Izvestia that she also plans to sue Osama Abdul Mohsen, a 52-year-old Syrian refugee who fell to the ground on top of his child after Laszlo tripped him. Yes, she is suing the man as a “matter of honor” for allegedly swapping stories since his original testimony on the incident, re-igniting the backlash against her.
The end goal of every crisis should be to successfully move forward. Laszlo should have stuck to her public apology and gone on to face her charges in quiet. It’s never a good idea, no matter how bruised an ego may be, to revive attention that could only tarnish an image further in the public’s eyes.