The Gaslamp Killer’s Defamation Lawsuit Against One Rape Accuser Thrown Out
In October, the Los Angeles beat producer and DJ William Benjamin Bensussen, who records music under the name the Gaslamp Killer, was accused of drugging and raping two women at a party in 2013. Bensussen denied the allegations, claiming that he had a consensual sexual encounter with the two women after they propositioned him, and a month later, he filed defamation lawsuits against both accusers. Now, as Pitchfork reports out, one of those suits has been thrown out by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, who cited RaeAn Medina’s anti-SLAPP motion against him. (SLAPPs are “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” baseless lawsuits used to silence and harass critics.) The other accuser, Chelsea Tadros, also filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike the defamation suit against her, but the court denied her motion. Tadros’ attorneys have issued the following statement in response to the ruling:
We are pleased to have prevailed at the first stage of this litigation, the Court having dismissed William Bensussen’s lawsuit against RaeAn Medina in its entirety and a portion of his claims against Chelsea Tadros. As the prevailing parties, Ms. Medina and Ms. Tadros are entitled to payment of attorneys’ fees and costs from Mr. Bensussen.
While this fight is not over, we have and will continue to expose Mr. Bensussen’s lawsuit as a frivolous and transparent attempt to save his career by intimidating and silencing his victims. During this litigation, Mr. Bensussen has relied on ignorant and antiquated views on sexual assault—going so far as to suggest that Ms. Tadros could not have been raped because she did not yell, fight back, or file a police report. These repugnant arguments will not stand.
Ms. Tadros looks forward to the next stage of this litigation, in which we are confident she will ultimately prevail. In this watershed cultural moment, it is more important than ever for victims of sexual assault to share their stories. To that end, we could not be prouder of Ms. Tadros for her bravery in coming forward to tell her truth.