MANILA, Philippines -- TV host and columnist Bianca Gonzalez said she is shocked to be slapped with her first libel case by veteran actress Amalia Fuentes.
|TV host and columnist Bianca Gonzalez
On Wednesday, Gonzalez was dragged into the bitter feud of Fuentes and controversial talent manager Annabelle Rama, when the "Pinoy Big Brother" host in her column in The Philippine Star allegedly unfairly put Fuentes in a bad light.
"I was shocked," Gonzalez said, recounting hearing news of the complaint. "Napaisip talaga ako kung kailan kaya ako may nasabi, may nasulat. So shocked talaga, more than anything else."
"At first, actually, surreal sa 'kin, hindi ko nga alam na she knows who I am. Sad na it had to be in this way. I totally respect 'yung naging pahayag niya," Gonzalez told ABS-CBN News on Thursday.
Fuentes, who had likewise filed 11 counts of libel against Rama, also told Gonzalez to "take a seminar on writing."
Gonzalez, who started writing professionally for The Philippine Star in October last year, said she takes Fuentes' message to be well-meaning, as this can only help her become a better writer.
"I'm only starting out as a writer and I take it very seriously. I'm really trusted by my editors, gina-guide nila ako.
"For me, I took it in a good context. Meaning, lesson learned na hopefully this will help make me a better writer, a better host sa mga susunod ko pang interviews and write-ups," Gonzalez said.
The article, "a Valentine's Day piece" published on February 12, detailed Gonzalez's interview with Rama and her husband actor Eddie Gutierrez.
"Basically, 'yung article ko ay Valentine piece on Tita Annabelle and Tito Eddie, and Tita Annabelle, you know, she makes candid kwentos, and so the part about Ms. Amalia was a direct quote. Nakwento lang ni Ms. Annabelle, so it was just in passing like that," Gonzalez said.
Fuentes, however, complained that Gonzalez made no attempt to get her side of the story.
The "PBB" host, who has yet to receive a copy of the formal complaint, also said she had to seek legal counsel as this is her first time to face a potential court case.
"I honestly had to talk to a lawyer, kasi first time ko since I started working, to receive itong suit na libel. So I consulted a lawyer, on the grounds of -- hindi ko naintindihan eh, kung ano 'yung technicality nito, o gusto ko maintindihan ano 'yung consequence nito sa'kin, ano pwede ko gawin," she said.
Asked if she is open to reconciling with Fuentes when the dust has settled, Gonzalez said she is in fact apologetic for having hurt Fuentes, and that she has the highest regard for the veteran actress.
"Nobody likes na may kaaway, na may masaktan, so I'm hoping na magkaayos, like Ms. Amalia, who I've never had the honor of meeting. So if given the chance, oo naman, I'd love to [make amends].
"I had no intention whatsoever na ilagay siya sa masamang posisyon. I highly respect everything she said, 'yung opinion niya. I understand where she's coming from and hopefully maayos 'to. If she got hurt, or if any one got hurt, I'd like to apologize," Gonzalez said.