The “master” of an Australian man who died after injecting silicone into his testicles is suing Network 10 for defamation, claiming its current affairs talk show The Project wrongly portrayed him as responsible for his boyfriend’s death. 

Jack Chapman (also known as Tank Hafertepen) died in October 2018 from complications caused by his extreme body modifications. At the time, he was in a polyamorous BDSM relationship with his “master”, American man Dylan Hafertepen, and documented his physical changes on social media. 

 

In November 2018, The Project covered the “unusual circumstances” of Chapman’s death in a 12-minute report which included footage of his mother, Linda Chapman, confronting Dylan Hafertepen at her home in Melbourne. 

“I believe with all my heart that you are wholly and solely responsible for my son’s death. I wish you were dead,” she told Hafertepen. 

“You want to claim to love him? You abused him … You are the one responsible for Jack’s death. If he’d never met you, he’d be still alive, and he’d be home with me.”

Hafertepen is taking legal action against Network 10, claiming The Project’s report was “over-sensationalised” and wrongly depicted him as emotionally abusive, endangering Chapman’s life by giving him silicone to be injected into his genitals and forcing him to change his will weeks before his death.  

Chapman pictured with swollen testicles; the result of silicone injections. Photo: Facebook.

“It’s a very serious allegation, causing the death of his partner in order to inherit his money,” Hafertepen’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou said.

Hafertepen also claims he was “tricked” into participating in the program and lost his job at Google as a result. He is seeking damages and for the story to be permanently removed from Network Ten’s websites. 

Network 10’s barrister Lyndelle Barnett said they will defend the report on the grounds that it was true and subject to qualified privilege.

“This is a very serious case with very serious imputations,” Barnett said. “Any truth defence will be very detailed.”

The case is scheduled to return to court in February. Hafertepen is currently being sued by Linda Chapman for wrongful death in the United States.

 

© Star Observer 2019 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.