Broadway star Laura Osnes is speaking out for the first time since news emerged that she had filed a lawsuit against the New York Post for defamation.
Last year the Post claimed Osnes was fired from a theatrical production after refusing to be vaccinated for COVID-19. In August, Forbes, citing court documents, reported that Osnes had filed a lawsuit against the Post, stating that the article's "libelous conduct has caused, and continues to cause, [her] disgrace and humiliation, harm to her professional and personal reputation, mental anguish, and emotional distress."
Taking to Instagram, Osnes opened up about how the article affected her.
"Last year, a tabloid published a series of untrue events that attacked my character and made me out to be an enemy of the very community I had loved and invested in for 15 years," she wrote. "Friends distanced themselves from me, several jobs were rescinded, and I was left trying to hold the crumbling pieces of my life together."
Osnes wrote that it was in the "brokenness" that "God began to remind me" that "my identity runs so much deeper than being the girl you may have seen in that Broadway show or Hallmark movie."
"And as painful as it has been, I am finding that character and growth are forged through hardship," she wrote. "Standing in the face of adversity, though it cost me everything I thought was valuable, is leading me to a greater purpose, a new community, and a restored hope. For the first time, I’m finding my voice and the courage to share my story in a brand new way."
The article claimed that Osnes was fired from the production "Crazy For You" because she was unvaccinated and skeptical about getting the jab. The report further stated that performers had the option to either get the vaccine or provide recent negative COVID-19 test results. Those claims, Osnes said in a statement days later, were untrue.
"A month ago, I was informed that the protocols [at the theater] had changed and I would now need proof of vaccination to participate," she wrote in a now-deleted statement on Instagram, screenshots of which were shared on Twitter. "I was disappointed but responded that I would have to withdraw as I have not yet gotten the vaccine."
Osnes further noted that she had not been given the option to provide her negative COVID-19 tests in order to remain in the production.
"I would have tested in a heartbeat — something I have been doing for months, and will continue to do, in order to keep working safely,” she wrote, screenshots revealed.
Regarding her decision to forgo the vaccine, Osnes said it was something she and her husband had decided to do with the input of their physician.
"Someday, perhaps we will feel more confident in the research to consider a different position," she wrote. "With the information that is currently available, however, I have a conviction that I (and many others, both in and out of my industry) feel compelled to stand by."
Osnes added: "Every soul is entitled to live according to their convictions and work without being publicly ostracized. My conviction does not discount my care and commitment to safety during this unprecedented time."
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