“Look, someone has to step in here, to defend the octopus,” says top US lawyer Frank Warbler, who is preparing to file a lawsuit for defamation on behalf of the global octopus population. “All I’ve seen lately in the presidential campaign are headlines shouting how alleged groper and Republican Donald Trump was all over some of his alleged victims ‘like an octopus’. Since when has the octopus been synonymous with sex offending?” According to Warbler, he was initially approached by an octopus currently resident in a San Diego aquarium. “He was unhappy that, once these headlines started to appear, visitors to the aquarium started to mock him, calling him a groper and worse, dubbing him ‘Donald’, after Trump, “ he explains. “Having women cover their breasts with their hands as they approached him or, even worse, avoid his tank for fear of being groped, has been deeply traumatic for my client. Not only that, but the ‘Donald’ jibe is particularly offensive to him as he is a lifetime registered Democrat.” Speaking to the California Sea Food Digest, the lawyer explained that he was planning to sue not only the news outlets which had defamed his client, but also Donald Trump himself. “Clearly, if he hadn’t been going around allegedly molesting women, then the whole situation would never have arisen,” he told the periodical, adding that he was hoping to make the case a class action, so as to include any other octopus offended by being compared to Donald Trump. “Right now we’re investigating whether Trump actually imitated an octopus in any of these alleged gropings, in which case it could be argued that he was actually mocking my client, making him guilty of directly defaming him.”

Despite scepticism from legal experts as to the validity of his claims, Warbler argues that there is s a clear implication in the newspaper headlines about the billionaire’s alleged groping that the aquatic mollusc is well known for molesting women, using its tentacles to inappropriately touch women in multiple places on their bodies. “Where is the evidence for these heinous allegations?” he demands. “Has an octopus ever been convicted for sex offences? I think not. Have there ever been allegations, even, of sexual misconduct on their part? Obviously not. Yet every time some public figure is accused of feeling up women against their will, the whole octopus analogy is brought up – with no justification. I mean, just because the octopus has eight sucker covered tentacles, that doesn’t make it a potential groper – having more hands doesn’t make anyone more prone to groping, does it?” The lawyer points out that one handed men are, statistically, just as likely to be the sort of man to try and cop a feel on, for example, a crowded tube train as a man with both hands. “Damn it, some of those prosthetic hands could be even better for groping,” he declares. “They’d surely give a firmer grip which the victim would be less likely to wriggle free from. So it’s no good playing the ‘more hands make for heavier groping’ argument to try and defame my client!”

Warbler has engaged the services of famed oceanographer and marine biologist Jacques Custarde as an advisor and potential expert witness. Not only does he agree with Warbler that there is no credible evidence of any octopus sex offending, but has gone further, opining that it would actually be near impossible for the invertebrates to grope anyone. “The term groping implies the uninvited grasping of another’s private areas with one’s hands,” he told the Orange County Aquatic Review . “The fact is, however, that tentacles aren’t hands and, as far as I can see, wouldn’t be suited to groping anyway. Squeezing, perhaps, but not traditional groping. OK, I suppose those suckers might allow a form of nipple tweaking and a tentacle could achieve a pretty good slap across the arse, but the fact is that the octopus, despite its undeserved media reputation, is ill-equipped to be a groper.” He has also expanded on Warbler’s critique of the idea implicit in the octopus groping allegories that simply possessing a large number of appendages makes the creatures likely candidates to be sex offenders. “If its simply a case of assuming that many tentacles a groper makes, then why not scapegoat the giant squid instead?” he asks. “ They actually have more tentacles than an octopus and two of these are extra long, enabling them to stealthily grope from a distance. Plus, those huge eyes probably make them good voyeurs.”

Indeed, as the naturalist points out, whilst there are no documented cases of octopus gropings, there is so little footage of living giant squids in their natural environment, that they could be sexual molesting halibut and the like all the time in the ocean depths. Yet still it is the octopus that is unfairly characterised as the sex offender of the sea. “Personally, I blame all those old magazine and paperback covers depicting giant octopuses gripping young female divers with their tentacles,” says Warbler. “I fear that if these false allegations aren’t nipped in the bud now, things will only get worse. It can surely only be a matter of time before someone starts trying to reinterpret Ringo Starr’s ‘Octopuses Garden’ as evidence of the octopus being some kind of deep sea Jimmy Savile., luring unsuspecting children into it’s garden beneath the sea in order to illicitly fondle them with its tentacles.”

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump’s legal representatives have dismissed the threat of legal action against their client as being entirely without merit, pointing out that he has never personally defamed any octopuses, let alone one in a San Diego aquarium. Moreover, lawyers acting for several of the media outlets threatened by legal action have moved to have the case dismissed on the grounds that the term ‘all over her like an octopus’ is a phrase in common usage. Warbler, meanwhile, has announced that he is currently investigating new allegations against Trump, sparked by the infamous decade old audio recording which recently surfaced. “He clearly states that he ‘grabbedsher by the octopussy’, implying that not only has been involved in defaming my client, but also actually sexually assaulting octopuses,” he says. “Obviously, this puts a whole new complexion on the case – by using the octopus as some kind of figurative gold standard for groping, he’s clearly trying to divert attention from the fact that they are actually the victims! Damn it! The octopus is innocent!”