After producer and owner of Sound Studio in Los Angeles, Chris Nelson, filed a lawsuit over defamation of character related to allegations of abusive behavior last fall, Phoebe Bridgers is standing by what she said.
In a new motion to dismiss the case, Bridgers writes, "I believe that the statements I made in my Instagram story are true. My statements were made based on my personal knowledge, including statements I personally heard Mr. Nelson make, as well as my own observations. I continue to believe the statements that I made were true."
The artist's legal team backed up Bridgers' statement explaining, "This case presents a straightforward application of the anti-SLAPP statute,” referencing the California law designed to specifically protect people who speak out on matters of public interest against lawsuits targeting free speech.
Nelson's lawsuit claims that Bridgers used her Instagram Story to direct people to his ex-girlfriend, Emily Bannon's, account where she posted accusations of "racially motivated hate crimes." Bridgers also personally attested to having witnessed Nelson's "grooming, stealing [and] violence," which, according to the court filings, involved allegedly defrauding buyers by selling fake rare guitars, stealing $50,000 from a neighbor, hacking women's e-mail accounts and beating "a young Latinx man to death."
Nelson is seeking $3.8 million in damages for alleged defamation, false light, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intentional interference with prospective economic relations, and negligent interference with prospective economic relations. The filings allege that "Bridgers maliciously and intentionally posted the false and defamatory statements about [Nelson] as part of a vendetta to destroy [Nelson's] reputation that was enflamed by Bridgers and Bannon's sexual relationship."
Considering that a judge has already dismissed a similar lawsuit Nelson filed against singer-songwriter and former SNL cast member Noël Wells this past January, chances are the care will end up playing out in Bridgers favor.
Nelson had also accused Wells of defamation over emails she privately sent to to the band Big Thief, cautioning them against working with the producer. Wells cited her own experience working with Nelson and described his behavior as "incredibly predatory. Los Angeles County Judge Gregory W. Alarcon ruled that Wells' statements were made to the band “in the advancement or assistance of the creation of music,” and thus covered by First Amendment protections.
Photo via Getty/ JOCE/ Bauer-Griffin
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