Anyone who's watched an episode of The Biggest Loser knows you don't mess with Jillian Michaels. But on October 13, Canadian self-proclaimed fitness expert James Fell called the reality TV star "an actress playing the role of fitness trainer on TV" in a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece, deeming her on-air and DVD techniques "unsafe training practices."
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Now Michaels is fighting back, calling the accusations outrageous. "I've never met [Fell] but it's not him that I'm upset with, it's the Los Angeles Times," she told TV Guide Magazine at the Guess T-Shirt launch party for the Soujourn Project on October 13. "I expect an organization like the Los Angeles Times to do their due diligence. It's not hard to look into my background and discover that I have two current certifications, I have a continuing education program for trainers with AFFA, and I've been a trainer since I was 17 years old."
Michaels, best known for the tough love she and fellow trainer Bob Harper show the overweight contestants on the NBC hit, has recently been scrutinized in the media for her fitness brand that includes DVDs, supplements and diet pills. "[Criticism] is par for the course. It's par for the course to have haters," she says. "Like the James guy—God bless, I hope you become very successful. But the LA Times has a responsibility to report the truth. They can Google me. It's not that hard."
She says she will fight the publication for publishing the piece. "I am going to pursue The Los Angeles Times aggressively," she says. "It's a sad day when an organization resorts to defamation and libel to sell papers. And at some point you just have to say, what is the world coming to?"
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