Fort Worth face transplant patient files restraining order against tabloid

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by CHRIS HAWES

WFAA

Posted on April 14, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 15 at 2:14 PM

FORT WORTH - A Tarrant County court has issued a restraining order to protect a Fort Worth face transplant patient.

Dallas Wiens' face was nearly destroyed by a power line in 2008. He recently had surgery to give him a new face and chance at life. But, now he says he is being hounded and harassed by people with a British tabloid.

Dallas Wiens is trying to recover from his historic face transplant surgery that took place in March. But, he said that recovery is being jeopardized by the actions of a British media company.

Their website includes such stories as the world's tallest teen and a one-year-old preserved McDonald's meal. But, the tabloid company would apparently like to add Wiens' story to that list.

"I got a lot of life left," he told News 8 before his surgery.

The Fort Worth man was the first in the nation to get a full face transplant.

"It's a shot at a brand new life," he said.

According to a lawsuit filed in a Tarrant County District Court this week, Wiens' family was having financial difficulty in June. Wiens agreed to let the British tabloid get video and pictures of him in exchange for $1,500. They got the pictures, but Wiens said he never got the money.

Now, the Fort Worth father claims the tabloid will not stop harassing him for pictures and interviews through texts and calls as he recovers.

The lawsuit also says the tabloid's harassed hospital staff and tried "every tactic imaginable" to get to Wiens and "exploit him."

Those alleged tactics include a contract selling exclusive rights to his story for the equivalent of about $200. Wiens said he never signed the contract.

Tuesday, a Tarrant County judge sided with Wiens, issuing a restraining order to keep people with the tabloid away from him. A full hearing will be held next Thursday.

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