The Melbourne woman whose Facebook complaint about her feather stroke eyebrows went viral last year has officially apologised to the clinic and therapist for her “baseless accusations”.
In July 2016, 43-year-old Amanda Coats posted photos of her “infected” brows alleging that she contracted the infection following a $360 eyebrow tattooing procedure by Ulzii Cleveland at the Skincare Laser Clinic in Victoria’s Point Cook.
In the post she wrote: “I went to get my eyebrows feather tattooed to enhance them. I ended up with a severe infection.”
Ulzii and the salon (jointly owned by her and husband Iain Cleveland) denied Coats’ version of events and began defamation proceedings against her arguing that the salon lost 11 clients as a result of the post which implied that Ulzii was “rude, unprofessional and unhygienic”.
At the time, Iain Cleveland said Coats was delighted when she left the clinic after her feather stroke appointment but rang the clinic a few days afterwards with concerns that the colour was fading (a normal reaction).
Two weeks later she forwarded a photo of her infected eyebrows to the clinic but Iain is adamant “there’s no way we could be possibly responsible for the infection at that stage”.
He said the salon follows “strict industry best practice, standards and regulations.
“At the beginning of the procedure, the client was shown the microblade and dressing pack contained in a sterilised environment.
“These packs were opened in front of the client using sterilised gloves that remained in the room the entire procedure. The client left the procedure satisfied. Based off feedback from industry experts, SLC believes the adverse reaction was due to an allergy to one of the supplementary products used.”
After four days of hearings in the County Court of Victoria with both parties represented by barristers, the two parties agreed on a settlement which included a formal apology by Coats.
Published on the Skincare Laser Clinic’s website, the apology reads:
“On 23 July 2017, I am made a post on Facebook about Ulzii Cleveland and Skincare Laser Clinic Point Cook. Thousands of people saw what I wrote, and a lot of news sites based in Australia and overseas republished it.
“I said that my eyebrows were tattooed in an unhygienic way. I accept that I am not qualified to make that judgement. I accept that Mrs Cleveland follows a strict procedure when she is tattooing clients, and that she is extremely concerned about maintaining standards of hygiene.
“I now understand the harm that can be done to a person and to a business when you rush to judgment and spread baseless accusations on social media as they are fact.
“I accept that what I wrote caused great distress to Mrs Cleveland and did harm to her reputation and to Skin Care Laser Clinic’s business.
“I apologise to Mrs Cleveland and to Skincare Laser Clinic.
“I hope that the people who published articles about what I said will take them down from their websites.”
Speaking after the court case, Iain Cleveland told Professional Beauty that he decided to sue Amanda Coats as her allegations were completely untrue.
“We could not let these allegations remain uncontested and reflect on the reputations of Skincare Laser Clinic and Ulzii Cleveland moving forward,” he said.
Although Cleveland believes “250,000 to 500,000” people around the world saw Amanda’s post, he said the damage caused by the post is “difficult to quantify”.
“We can identify clients who cancelled appointments due to the post valued at about $5600,” he said.
“We cannot quantify the number of potential clients who decided to go elsewhere because of the post.”
He said that although the clinic has “powered through the post” and its clients have “stood firmly behind it from the first day”, Ulzii has had her reputation “significantly tarnished, particularly within the cosmetic tattoo industry, right across the world”.
“This has been very challenging for her to deal with and the apology goes some way to repair the damage.”